The Good Steward: Advent Edition
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Advent is the season for preparing for Christmas.
Preceding it is the usually unacknowledged season of preparing for Advent.
This intense time includes: getting a decent photo of the whole family; ordering Christmas cards; discovering which strands of lights survived; unearthing the Advent calendar and wreath; coordinating holiday travel; brainstorming and buying gifts.
We need a name for this season!
Throwback / Rad-Tradish suggestion:
No fun suggestion:
“We don’t need a name for that”
Whatever you call it, it starts mid-October, and it is full of decisions. Prioritizing good stewardship of wealth and of God’s creation during this time takes real effort and needs encouragement.
Four stewardship suggestions for before Advent:
1. Shop antique stores, thrift shops, and used book joints for gifts. Reject the consumerist notion that new is preferable and that a gift must be in the packaging to count. Let friends and relatives know that you would be grateful for gifts sourced in this way.
2. For Advent, you could make a household rule that once the kids are down, only candles can be used for light. I got this idea and the rationale for it here. BUT if you are going to make this happen in December, your pre-Advent needs to be VERY productive. Get going!
3. Prepare to be inundated by cardboard packaging, especially from shipped gifts. Designate a space to save most of it. Later, you will add to the pile most of the ripped paper from unwrapping gifts. On December 26, add masking tape to the mix and spend time as a family making a holiday hut - basically, a recycled paper version of a gingerbread house. You can go small if you like, but you will have enough to make an enormous, gorgeous play fort. You can build a chapel around the crèche set and pray in there during the octave of Christmas. (Take a picture and send it to me if you do this!) Recycle the holiday hut when the kids go back to school.
4. Perform a check up on your subscriptions. Are there any that you can cancel? Take one month’s worth of cancelled subscription money and send it to the power company’s assistance program for customers struggling to pay gas/electric bills. Use the rest to fund your gift giving this year, or maybe to buy candles (see #2).
Remembering always that a steward steps aside when the King is come, let us prepare our hearts in season and out of season through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Photo Credit: freestocks on Unsplash