- we always celebrated Christmas in Mooresville.
- my Dad always played practical jokes with gift-wrapping.
- my Mamaw always baked angel biscuits for breakfast.
- my Mom always baked cookies that looked like these.
These days, even with our own children fully grown, we – still – always . . .
- stay in our pjs all day long on Christmas Day relishing the only day in the whole year when nobody calls the pastor(s).
What is it that you always do for the Advent season and Christmas? Or is every year different?
It’s easier to name Christmas traditions than Advent traditions perhaps. And chances are that our traditions have more to do with our own families and friends than with strangers.
But what if we started this Advent creating some new practices involving strangers that could become what we always do?
- What if we always bought a handful of $10 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks or McDonalds and handed them out to street people sometime during the first week in Advent?
- What if we always took a bag of new thick socks to the local shelter sometime during the second week in Advent?
- What if we always wrote notes to people who’ve lost loved ones since last Christmas?
- What if we always kept our eyes opened for Invisible People – those most people don’t notice – and we made a special effort to connect with them?
- What if we always spent Advent learning about a group of people (of a different religion, race, nationality) who are not like us. Jesus was born for them too.
- What if we always spent at least one meal during Advent with someone who lives alone?
- What if we always took cookies to our local firefighters or police officers or EMT workers or crossing guards or public librarians a few weeks before Christmas?
In light of the brokenness of the world, what if we always lived as allies to those who are not in the majority, defenders of those who suffer injustice, partners of those who have a difficult road to walk? What if serving the least of these became the thing we always do – and not just during Advent?