Monday, December 22, 2008

Loving It - Preparation - Advent

I so love this time of year, when, four Sunday's before Christmas, I take out the blues. Blue table cloth. Blue table runner. Blue candles everywhere. And one white candle. I hang the banners that the kids made years ago, and we begin.

Outside, my blue lit tree. Every year, every advent.Thank you sweetie. Love you so.

The Church Year begins and we celebrate it in our house. No red, no greens, no Santa's. Blues, and one touch of white. We prepare and we wait. We sing the advent hymns. My favorite? Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel. We prepare, we share, we work on our hearts as we wait for Christmas.

Over the four weeks we begin to see little Christmas touches around the house. The Creche. Bowls of candy with a bit of red and green. Poinsettias. Wrapping paper and ribbon. Finally, around the 20th (this year a bit earlier due to some plans with friends), a Christmas Tree. Cookies. Holiday snacks. An outside tree with a touch of ornament. All in preparation. We move through advent with a purpose, guided by the church celebrations. We light one candle on the advent wreath each Sunday and continue with the candles lit each night at dinner. We read together. We find our way, figuratively, to the holiday itself.

On Christmas day, we wake up to WHITE and RED everywhere! White tablecloth. Fresh white candles in the Advent wreath. Red and White candles in all the holders. Presents under the tree and in our stockings. And the most wonderful present of all in our hearts, the birth of Jesus. We celebrate the Christmas Season for at least 12 days, well into the new calendar year, sharing time with family and friends. It is a bit fun to deviate in a celebratory way from the secular calendar, and keep Christmas going well beyond the commercial ads.

You can learn more about the Lutheran tradition of the advent celebration and preparation through many sources. Like all traditions, these repeated practices bring meaning to our lives, comfort in times of stress, and deep happiness as we share them with our loved ones.

Here's wishing you all a fabulous holiday and a season filled with traditions that bring you joy.

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