Today is Stir Up Sunday. Traditionally the day when Christmas puddings and cakes are baked, wishes made as wooden spoons stir the thick mixtures and the annual hunt for the silver sixpence leads to the other interpretation of Stir Up – the first of the frustration induced Christmas rows. As we frantically try to prepare for the “perfect” Christmas and at the same time incorporate financial limitations, the arrival of disparate members of the family and change the sheets on the spare bed the hairs on our camel’s backs get heavier and heavier.
As you may have seen from an earlier post I am taking part in #ShareAdvent. A comment on that post suggested it was a twee middle class list, which perhaps it is. But perhaps I am twee and middle class, I have never pretended to be something I am not, for a start it’s too much effort and I have never been good at pretence (another good reason for not taking up my first career option of spy).
However, I also have another Advent tradition which I have been doing for two years now (I know because the bookmark is the reciept for the book itself purchased at Durham Cathedral on 24th November 2010). I read Do Nothing Christmas is Coming – An Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell. Stephen is Bishop of Chelmsford and has written a number of excellent books, but this little pocket is my annual favourite.
Each day is a short reading with suggestions for reflection, how to slow down, and to genuinely prepare for Christmas rather than just for a holiday. I set aside time each morning to write morning pages, read New Daylight and Simple Abundance, to pray, to just be quiet. In December I add this little book, why don’t you join me? I’d love to hear how you get on, what you think, whether it helped.