Advent is one of my favourite season of the year. I love the very idea of preparing room, setting the scene for the magic of this season, acknowledging that the best gifts are not the ones that can be purchased.
When we tidied the shed a few weeks ago to bring the winter stuff forward and send the summer stuff back, I stared at the 5 green and red rubbermaid totes in anticipation. We put up the lights while it was still mild, but they only turned on for the first time tonight.
Part of the joy of unpacking familiar seasonal treasures is the sheer delight we can take in seeing them again. One of our Advent treasures is the Corner Santa carved for us by the talented Debbie Everett. She and my step-father’s brother, George Foster, are two incredibly creative people and we are lucky enough to have a treasure or two from each of them in our home. Debbie and George are both living proof that Creativity can grow and thrive without “formal” training. All that matters is that you explore the potential that lies within you, not how many hours of lessons you take! This Santa graces the corner by our front door every year, complete with his cross stitch stocking!
Getting ready for Advent also means adding Creative touches around the house. We have a garland that goes right on top of our usual cranberry coloured swag, tucking into the regular holders...
I fill the two low, white bowls that grace our table for every season with interesting shapes of holiday potpourri and pine cones...
and look around for spots in which to settle favourite treasures about the house.
This year I feel that I am preparing myself Creatively...both inside and out.
INHALE: Forget about rushing out to buy the perfect gifts. While retailers are yelling at us about great bargains and low prices, we need to find the time to centre ourselves. Some of the best gifts are the ones that money cannot buy. Some of the best memories are made when we least expect them. Instead of thinking how much you should spend, think about how you could practice your Creativity this holiday season so that those who mean the most to you know they are loved and cherished. It is not the cost of the gift that matters, it is the act of giving, especially Creatively, that brings us close to others.
EXHALE: What touch of colour, what scent, what sound can you savour today that will begin this process of preparing? Many cultures and faiths celebrate light in this time of darkness, contemplate the closing of one year and the beginning of the next. Down under, the longest day is celebrated instead of the darkest night. Find a bowl and fill it with holiday treasures, string up a ribbon on which to hang cards as they arrive or sit down and play that first playlist or CD of holiday favourites as you look through cookie recipes. The possibilities for being Creative, even amid all the business of the season are endless!