My husband and I received the most unusual and intriguing dinner invitation this weekend. We received a text from friends here in town that said we were invited to their annual FRIENDSGIVING dinner on Saturday night. We were told to bring nothing but ourselves, be casual and be there by 7pm.
Our friends have three grown / growing girls: one in high school, one in college and the third graduated from college and lives out of town. Apparently, a number of years ago the daughters all agreed that after they had spent Thursday with family, eating turkey and scarfing down pies, they wanted to have a relaxed evening with their friends – relaxing, in fellowship, enjoying one another. And so Friendsgiving began.
Rather than rush into Christmas – buying discounted electronics or waiting for huge mall sales to save a few dollars, they spent their post Thanksgiving days together, with the family they chose for themselves – their friends and family, laughing, reminiscing, making new memories by recounting old ones. Sitting at table. Together.
This week I heard a wonderful sermon about Advent – and waiting. Not rushing. Not stressing. Not overdoing or overbuying. But waiting.
Regardless of your religious views or faith perspective, the next four weeks are special. Fall will turn into winter. The last leaves will drop, open clear skies will be followed by bright stars and cold air. Our bodies will tell us to slow down despite the messages from elsewhere that demand otherwise. SHOP NOW. Buy more. DO MORE. Today. THEY NEED THIS GIFT. Your love depends on these earrings. BUY 3 GET 1 FREE.
It has become increasingly difficult to drown out the noise, the dull aching roar we hear during the Holidays but I think we must. We must slow down. We must listen. Celebrate with people we love, laughing, around table, together, quietly choosing to ignore the outside world, even if just for a night.
So I think this weekend has reminded me of something. DONT STRESS. About anything. Not about getting it all bought, wrapped, done, baked.
Cut a few corners. Take a few naps. Watch your favorite old movie and create a new tradition – like Thanksgiving, that celebrates the greatest blessing of all. Each other. And when you think about this Holiday Season and cannot recall what gift you gave or received, you will realize it was the gift of time together that meant the most.