This time of year is a favorite of mine.....
To me, the Christmas season is about family and gratitude. Togetherness. Warmth.
The religious undertones of advent and Christmas mean very little to me, even though there are family members who whole heartedly accept the birth of Christ as the "reason for the season".
Oh, it is such a touchy subject for any and all...I've been tiptoeing around it my entire life.
As someone who does not subscribe to any particular religion, the discovery of advent was refreshing and confusing at the same time. I am still learning...and wondering...and incorporating in my own way...
"The first light of Advent is the light of stone–.
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones."
I hold much appreciation for the natural world...amazing that these beautiful things are so common place and so often over looked...
"The second light of Advent is the light of plants–
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
I am continually amazed by the grandeur of trees and plants...their steadfastness, their ability to "move" towards life forces...W loves to point up at the trees and exclaim his chosen word for the tall beauties...
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts–
All await the birth, from the greatest and in least."
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind–
The light of hope that we may learn to love and understand.”
There is much to learn and take away from meaningful advent rituals.... In the end, I am a student in every way, shape and form...
Does anyone else celebrate advent in a non-religious manner? What does it mean to you?
Eventually, I will have to figure out my "place" in spirituality....or do I? As an (early) student of Anthroposophy, I worry a bit about grasping the incorporation of Christianity (debatable, of course..)
I recall being "spoon fed" Christianity as a young child during my summer vacations at my grandparent's house. I was scolded for inquiring about anything that seemed unbelievable to me and felt a lot of pressure and shame...I heard many stories of my mother and her sisters being forced into this way of thinking..and some counts of abuse, too. In 4th grade, a vacation bible school teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I would accept Jesus Christ as my savior. I was scared and nervous; unsure of what that even meant. So I said, "yes." I have been reminded of this a few times in my life, even though it meant nothing to me. I felt like I was a quota. A few other experiences have left a bad taste in my mouth, and I have never "found" my way through the forest of spirituality. This is NOT meant to offend or disservice anyone who has "found their way"...I may be a little envious, even!
To me, advent is the "grand finale" of sorts of the completion of a full year of festivals in the Waldorf home. It is pretty grand, isn't it? Christmas does so much for my senses, too....the smell of pine, cookies baking, the warmth of family drawn near...the excitement of gift giving....
Again, I have not meant to offend anyone...I am speaking aloud, from my soul....I know you will understand, dear friends!