Work gets busier just at the time that I should be out looking for Christmas presents. Just this morning I was told "You'll have to stay in London on Wednesday night because you have a meeting at 0900 on Thursday. But straight back because you have a meeting here on Thursday at 1400."
Advent rarely feels like Lent, but this year, it strikes me, life is so hectic that Advent is becoming a much more penitential season than usual. I have to stop every day to recollect what is going on, and to offer up so much hassle.
And this helps me remember why Advent should be like Lent: we aren't worthy of what is going to happen in a week's time, but it will happen anyway, because our unworthiness is a given. Concentrating on, or trying to concentrate, on what we are preparing for is a good thing. (And at least nobody has suggested giving up anything!)
Commercialising Christmas is nothing like as bad as commercialising Advent.