Yay, it's Advent! Cha, Cha Cha! Shimmy, shimmy, tap, tap. (happy dance around the office)
Now, I know that we're supposed to get grumpy and up in arms about the Consumer- Frankensteinian, Cheap Plastic Santa co-opted, soul-less, mindless time that this has become in our culture. And I do get distressed over our selfishness and materialism that is so obvious and over-the-top at this time of year. I get as disgusted and dismayed too.
It's Advent, people!
Blue candles, lit in the evening in my darkening dining room, mirroring the blue candles lit in the slowly lightening sanctuaries that morning. Each day, the excitement of my daughter as we put one more figure in the nativity scene on the advent calendar. The anticipation of slowly and methodically decorating our home, a little more appearing each week. The whispered conversations and giggles over gift planning. Good smells of cookies baking, and even the mess of decorative sugars and sprinkles all over the counter and floor. Reading Jesus' story at bed time, retold in many different ways in the many different books my daughter has received, each one delighting us with a new way to look at the old story.
These are the real parts for us, parts of the anticipation, of the waiting, of the hoping. They are not perfect or stress free, nor do we expect them to be. But they are our moments to savor, in a life and a world that moves so quickly that we normally miss the savoring and go for the quick taste. I love this savoring time of the year, and I love that I get to share it with the people I adore and love.
I will hold on to Advent while the world swirls around me, and dance my happy dance while I can. Grab hold of the joy!