I spent about 50 years as a member of a liturgical denomination. There are a few things I miss, one is celebrating Advent. I miss some of the hymns which reminded me Christmas does not begin on Black Friday.
Some years, I've found it easy not to get caught up in the commercial holiday hype, other years, I failed and was completely caught up in it. As we enter into the week before Christmas, I will now decorate the inside of my house. Today, the tree goes up as well as a few other decorations. Last year I cut back on the decorating and missed the 2 trees I normally place in the dining room; as well as other decorations around the house. I am going to determine this year if I will decorate more than 1 tree again. If I still miss them at Epiphany when I pack the decorations, I will resume decorating 3 trees and go big once more. I used to decorate the chandelier over my dining room table as well. I loved the results, but I do not see me doing that ever again!
I used to spend the Thanksgiving weekend decorating for Christmas, then 1 year due to circumstances I did not have the time over the holiday weekend and I began decorating later in December just as my family did when I was a child. We decorated the day school was dismissed for the Christmas holidays. I look back and remember how I could barely contain myself the day school was dismissed, not because it was dismissed, but because with care, we would unpack the decorations and lovingly place the Nativity Scene in the living room, hang the wreath on the front door, hang delicate ornaments on the tree. Dad let me help with the outdoor lights. In my book, one could never have too many lights!
So this afternoon, I will lovingly place Nativity Scenes around the house, one of which my mother bought in 1965. I will assemble the tree and hopefully, on the 1st attempt, plug in all the electrical cords correctly. I will look at delicate ornaments as I hang them on the tree and smile.
And if by chance, I have difficulty with the lights on the tree...I may have a future blog post concerning be angry and sinning not!
I pray this week, as anticipation builds, you have quiet time with the Lord and no matter what is on the news, no matter what the govt is doing or not doing, no matter what a difficult relative demands, you are thrilled at the Good News:
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”