Seven. That is how many gifts I will be purchasing, not the thousands of dollars to be spent or the number of miles of lights to be strung up around my house. As usual, my holiday is being “downsized” in the eyes of consumerism but upgraded and reinvigorated in my opinion. I would like to continue to move away from the practice of spending money to the tradition of spending time sharing faith with my family.
In my house, the crèche is the centerpiece. Inspired by the crèches I saw in Peru and in Italy, I began to see the Nativity manger differently. It is and continues to the best decoration for the season.
We put up a Jesse Tree for the first time. Inspired by years of catechism, I had always fondly remembered this tradition and began to incorporate into our own celebration. I hope to revisit this tradition more purposefully. M is attending parochial school so she has a better sense of Bible stories and how they connect to our own family. I want to make the Jesse Tree feel like less of an “extra” activity.
Last year, I also began keeping an Advent calendar for M. True, each day featured some little trinket: a sticker, a toy ring, a small candy. But it was more about anticipation and excitement, about looking forward to daily surprises. This year, I’ll be revisiting the daily treats. How might I make them more meaningful, less “little” in terms of substance?
So I will likely be cleaning or writing or exercising on Black Friday morning. After all, my family is here at home, not in a mall or a parking lot.