The countdown to Christmas is on! I’m reminded of this daily by the flood of discount coupons in my email and online pop-up ads warning that there’s only a few shopping days left til Christmas.

I try to ignore these things, but their sense of urgency is very compelling. Should I be out there doing more shopping? Should I be taking advantage of the great discount deals? Time is running out! It makes me feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, watching the sand drain out of the hourglass, not sure that things will end well. To say the least, there’s a kind of expectancy about all this that’s not life-giving for me.

But that’s where Advent comes in! The sense of expectancy in Advent doesn’t compel me to shop or buy or make endless to-do lists. It invites me to think about how my life can help bring Christ anew into the world. For me, it’s a great time of reflection and life-giving expectation. It helps me focus on what’s most meaningful in my life when lots of other stuff is competing for my time and attention.

So today, I offer some resources for the Advent journey. I promise that they won’t make you feel like you should immediately run out to the Mall. But should you need to go shopping, they may help you feel more centered, more focused, and more joyful.

What resources have you found helpful for your Advent journey? Post your links and suggestions in the comment box below!