Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Airianna Beitler reflects on the impact of preparation, in its many forms. She invites us into introspection as we prepare ourselves in this time of Advent. 

The big day is almost here and I can’t wait to spend Christmas morning with my family. We have been prepping for dinner all day, which has been busy and full of cheer. We have tried to keep things as close as we can to normal during this year, so there is that much more preparation that goes into celebrating the holidays. 

As I look back on this Advent, I think about all the preparation that we tend to put into different holiday celebrations. We put so much time and energy into the prep work, and how much joy and hope comes from that? 

Preparation is in many ways frustrating, but it is also reassuring because you know what to expect, while taking pride in that extra work. So, in preparation for Christmas, I invite you to take a minute to reflect and enjoy the work you have been doing. Look at how far we have come this year. See how much holiday hope we have brought to our families as we prepare for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Yule. 

Also, take time to prepare for this new year. Bring forward all the new skills that you have gained this year and leave behind those that no longer serve you well. Keep up the hope and joy in your heart that this season brings with you into the new year.

This time of pandemic has been a preparation of a new you. How is this new person going to show up in this world? For me, I have worked on myself during this time of preparation. I’ve realized that I can’t continue to help others or do the things I love if I am giving from an empty cup. I hope that this time has given you a similar gift of contemplation as well. I believe that we have all been given this season of preparation to find what we need, whatever that may be, so we’ll be able to keep doing our best in this time to come.

Reflection Question: What will this time of preparation bring for you? What do you hope to come to fruition from this?