Saturday, December 6, 2014

#celebratelu: I Celebrate Advent

Long ago, when my kids were young and the the hype-stress-frantic pace of the holiday season got out of hand, I put four candles on a plate and surrounded it with some greens from the shrubs in front of my house. It was not fancy, the candles were the wrong colors, but it worked magic, in my home, refocusing our energies on the season (such as fighting over whose turn it was to snuff out the candles) rather than on its "accouterments."  For some magical reason, it didn't matter that the house was not decorated (it wasn't, it's not) or that the presents weren't wrapped (or even purchased, not now either) or that the tree was not purchased or up (it wasn't, it's not) or that there were still papers to be graded (there were, there are), if the wreath was found (it was always found, but sometimes we started with a substitute wreath or candle).  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were busy days spent on the road and filled with family celebrations.  Usually, although not always, our tree was up by then and the presents were wrapped ready to go.  But in our little house, in the weeks leading up the the main event, our nuclear family prepared by lighting our mismatched candles of Advent whenever we were lucky enough to be together.   

Over time, there were some magnificent wreaths gracing our table, with three fresh purple and one pink candles (the way it is supposed to be).  To be real, most years, like this year, Advent sneaks up on me and I am filling in with whatever candles, in whatever colors, in whatever level of freshness happen to be in the house!  

Fortunately, I've realized that the colors, length and freshness of the candles as well as the "realness" of the greens really doesn't matter at all.  It it the opportunity to take a few minutes each day to say a prayer, make a wish (even when you don't see a shooting star) and to prepare my heart.

My perfectly good, even if totally imperfect (like me) wreath.
(This year, it's three old reddish brown candles,
and one faded, light green candle,
nestled in a recycled "faux" wreath!


Kendra said...

Advent sneaks up on us each year as well. I wonder if that is part of my discipline I'm supposed to embrace. Just stop and prepare. Your celebration has fostered some thoughts in me this morning about Advent. Thank you!

LInda Baie said...

I think I'm celebrating my advent through a morning walk, Anita, but love that you all focus on the importance of being together, even if briefly, even if the candles are not the right color. Best wishes on those times for special feelings of togetherness.

Tara Smith said...

You focus on what counts - and that is where the joy is. I am behind this year, as I am every year, too. But, it doesn't seem to make a difference in the end, does it - mismatched candles, yes, but celebration and togetherness, even so.