Advent- not Christmas

The Lutheran (and ex-Catholic) in me is very deliberate to keep Advent separate from Christmas. I know that most of the country is decked out for the “Christmas Season” and has dove head over heals into shopping and caroling. Not to mention decorating.

I have to admit that I have shopped and decorated with the best of them. Our tree was put up today, photos forthcoming, and the Christmas Village is on the mantel. But right now I am thinking about Advent and it’s special place in my heart. We don’t have a calendar, because I’m too stubborn to buy one and I haven’t made one yet, but we do have a wreath.

Every year I try to make a new wreath. Last year it was with faux pine and sitting on an antique silver serving tray. The year before that it was just surrounded with ball ornaments. This year my Mother-in-Law gave me a few dozen pine cones she found at her parents’ house. So the girls and I painted them with acrylic paint in gold, red and antique gold. I piled the pine cones and candles on top of the antique copper chaffing dish handed down to me from my grandmother. It’s elegant and just enough non-traditional that I find it makes an attractive center piece. Not to mention it was free.

I encourage everyone to take the time to think about Advent. It’s actually well suited to Christmas shopping and decorating because it is a season of preparation. Preparing for the coming of Christ, on Christmas and His second coming. One of the ways we can prepare is not only to decorate and shop, but also to be deliberate in the ways we decorate and shop. Try to be responsible, try to be thoughtful. Especially, try not to be wasteful. Above all, meditate on the good things that we have been given– pass them on! And, look forward to a joyful Christmas season, it is coming soon enough!

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