Slow down, you move too fast!

The Christmas season is upon us. While Christmas has its roots in the Christian tradition, the commercialization of the holiday reaches an even wider population. There’s lots of lists and shopping and baking and holiday parties. It can wear a person out.

But there’s another side to Christmas. The Christian celebration begins with observing the season of Advent, which is an expectant waiting for the birth and celebration of Christ. It began this past Sunday. While I enjoy parts of the holiday fray, I also need the stillness of Advent to stay balanced.


Elizabeth-Anne Stewart wrote:

Advent is a time for walking slowly when others are rushing, for travelling lightly when consumers are burdened with merchandise, for eating less when others are eating more, for focusing inward when merrymakers drown in noisy carousing.


The season offers us the stillness that is before birth, but sadly, most of us cannot be still. Instead, we yield to cultural pressures which urge us to begin our Christmas celebration the day after Thanksgiving. Preoccupied with gift lists, Christmas cards and party planning, Advent, the quiet season, becomes the most frenetic time of year.


Without Advent, it is difficult to find the Christ in Christmas. When dazzled by tinsel, we cannot see the star, let alone follow it. When speeding through the countdown before Christmas Day, we bypass the stable. And when our ears fill with jingles about Frosty and  Rudolph, we miss the sweet strains of the angels’ song. . .


I’m not suggesting that you stop your usual Christmas or Hannakuh or Kwanza tradition. But know there is a stillness within the holiday that is yours—and always has been—if you just slow down a little.


Perhaps you can heed the advice of Deepak Chopra, who said: “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness within you.”


And, may the spirit of light and love that shines especially bright this time of year be yours this season — and beyond. 


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