No wonder everyone's sick of Christmas by the time the 25th comes round, the shops have had their decorations up from whenever the Christmas stock came out...October, was it?
The adverts on TV aren't any help, they numb you to the penitential and festive season from the beginning of November to the end of 'Christmas' at midnight on the 25th. I wouldn't mind if they waited at least until December to pipe Slade (bleurrch) and various other Winterval ditties at us, but that's a vain wish I know.
Not that I'm a Scrooge, I just bah humbug the ads and sigh with relief that the Bishops haven't decided to move this Feast to one to the nearest Sunday (yet). But in spite of the ads on telly and the depressing amounts of excessive consumption encouraged by sellers everywhere, Advent takes me happily by surprise, every year.
As a great believer in delayed gratification, I just love Advent. From the setting out of the crib to the lighting of the candles on the wreath, and yes, even the fasting and abstinence, I love it. How can you try to properly appreciate the great feast of Christmas (and I'm not just talking about food) without a good penitential run up?
So my question is, what do you all do to make your Advents special? How do you -or do you bother to- block out the secular bombardment that celebrates 'Christmas' for a good month before the due date?