Advent reflections and facts ahead

Advent is the four weeks (or so — more on that later) leading up to Christmas. It’s a period of expectant waiting, of spiritual preparation for Christmas. In this it is similar to how Lent leads up to Easter, but, well, more happy. When I discovered Advent, I was thrilled to find an alternative to the season of hyped commercialism. And I was surprised that though I’d spent my entire life in this Christian-rooted though secular culture, celebrating Christmas along with most of those around me, I had no idea anyone still celebrated Advent.

Just to be clear, I don’t hate the commercial aspects of Christmas. I think giving gifts can be sacred, and I love the silly excesses of pop culture. But Advent offers a counterbalance — a reminder of what this season is all about. And I don’t just mean waiting for the celebration of Jesus’s birth. I also mean remembering the season’s anchoring in tradition and tribal culture; remembering the spiritual dimension of gift-giving and hospitality; remembering the beauty of music and its power to connect us to the sacred.

So I walk into this holiday season with one hand firmly grasping tradition, the other hanging on for dear life to our crazy consumer culture. Please join me. Over the next month, I’ll be sharing Advent reflections, Advent factoids, favorite music and other holiday-themed posts.

You can check my blog each day for new posts at or go straight to my Advent tag page at

Better yet, follow me on my RSS feed, Facebook and Twitter.

And if you know anyone you think would appreciate fact or reflection about Advent, please share my posts or the whole series with them! I’ve been at Patheos now for four months and I hope to get my blog in front of a lot more people; I’d appreciate your help getting the word out.

About Phil Fox Rose

Phil Fox Rose is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the editor of Paraclete Press; coordinator of Contemplative Outreach of New York, helping promote centering prayer, which has been his contemplative practice for nearly 20 years. Raised atheist by ex-Mormons, Phil has journeyed through Quakerism, deep ecology, Buddhism and Catholicism. Now he's a congregant, presider, cook and leadership team chair at St. Lydia's, an awesome dinner church in Brooklyn, NY, and spends as much time in nature as possible. Phil has been a political party leader, videographer, tech journalist, punk roadie, software designer, sheepherder, stockbroker and downtempo radio DJ. A common thread is the process of learning about stuff, figuring it out and then sharing that understanding with others. Follow Phil by RSS feed, email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.