Now that Christmas has come and is nearly gone with the coming of Epiphany soon, I would like to comment on how my Advent observations/Christmas preparations went this year. My “fasting” from certain foods during Advent turned out to be super easy for me to abide by. Apparently it is easier for me to give up something that I do not need than to get into the habit of completing tasks that ought to be completed. I say this because I never got into the habit of spiritual reading like I had originally intended to originally during Advent. I did complete more spiritual reading than normal, however, and now receive a couple of spiritual thoughts newsletters, so I cannot say that my efforts during Advent to incorporate more spiritual reading into my life were fruitless.
While doing some post-Christmas shopping I found a wooden Advent calendar that I intend to hang on my wall next year (actually, for as many Advents as it holds up, which will be many, I hope) and fill with scripture passages correlated to the appropriate passage of the liturgical cycle. I did not come up with this idea on my own, however, as it was born from the Advent calendar that Arwen mentioned recently. The use of an Advent calendar will help incorporate spiritual reading into the Christmas preparations of my entire family next year. Honestly, it is not likely that I would have planned this had I not been focusing on incorporating more spiritual reading into my life during Advent.
All in all, I would rate my Advent preparations as successful, though not as sucessful as I had hoped originally. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to everyone!