On the verge of Thanksgiving, Advent 1-2-3-and-4, Blue Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Epiphany, (gasp), Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday, let’s be honest: the holiday seasons are wonderful…and exhausting…and poignant…and stressful…and sugar-filled…and schedule-crammed…and joyous…and sigh…

There’s nothing like the liturgical holiday rollercoaster (the one that takes off in a jolt from All Saints Day and doesn’t screech to a halt until after Easter Sunday) to make us long for the dull bliss of Ordinary Time! Our friends and colleagues around RGBP give witness to the rollercoaster’s highs and lows:

Lorna at “see-through faith” shares the public debate sparked recently by an adorable cartoon bear-and-hare commercial by John Lewis (a UK retailer), and she encourages us to be cautious of consumerism’s equation of money with love.

Allysa De Wolf writes powerfully in advance of the first anniversary of the Newtown shooting, not only lamenting the Sandy Hook tragedy but also the too-familiar story of devastation in neighborhoods around the world … and then hoping — wildly, foolishly, prophetically — for our continued efforts to turn swords into plowshares.

Kim at “Sandpiper’s Thoughts” reflects on Jesus’ propensity for breaking social/cultural boundaries in his day, and God’s habit of breaking the boundaries of our routines today. I wonder what holiday boundaries — limitations and inflexibilities and tunnel visions — exist around our holiday tables as well as our liturgical tables. I wonder what might happen if (when!) God upsets those habits, changes our plans, breaks down the barriers we have built, and shows us something new during this holy-day season.

Odoroita of “Time Just Is” braces for winter. The swift progression of liturgical seasons is not only the cause of weariness in our souls at this time of year … the change in nature’s seasons also takes its toll. With Odoroita, we strive to “receive the season in a different way by paying attention to and inviting it to surprise [us].”

St. Inuksuk has a lovely reminder while taking a deep breath before the Advent season: “It would be a blessing to have a slow Advent…but God has other plans this year!” Ah, that’s right! We may have sermon plans and Christmas pageant plans and Thanksgiving dinner plans and travel plans; let’s not forget that God has plans this season too!

What is your experience of this rollercoaster known as the holiday season? Share your blog post in the comments below or share a response to these bloggers.

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