It's Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. The end of a four day holiday. For those who know me well, you know that I have trouble this time of year.... because the days get crazy with activities, and holidays run together for most people. But, I like to keep my celebrations separate. One holiday at a time. So, note I said - it's still Thanksgiving weekend. It's still November.
Yes. Today IS the first day of the Advent season, and I have written about this period of time before. On the calendar it covers the 4 Sundays before Christmas Day, (and the days during those weeks). For many Christians it is the start of a new church year and the time to prepare for Christ arriving as a little baby in Bethlehem.
So, yesterday I took some time and I put away my fall decorations: the ceramic pumpkins I have, a few baskets, a scarecrow, some artificial autumn leaves.
Today the house is quiet...and there is not a decoration up for Christmas yet. (Well...except, my husband and I carried the artificial tree from our storage area to the front porch. It's there. ) I will take my time and decorate the outside tree, and I will put up other Christmas lights outdoors. Each year I like to do something different. So, I'm thinking about what I will do this year.
Indoors, no Christmas decorations are up yet. Hubby and I will soon put up the tree... but I plan to wait until December. I know people think I'm weird about it. But, I find that if I put everything up too early the "magic" of the lights and the pretty colors lose something by Christmas Day. Plus, the Christmas season is 12 days long (remember...the song? "On the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me..."?) and it STARTS on Christmas Day. It continues until January 6th.
So, I take my time, and I fight the ways of society to decorate BEFORE Thanksgiving... and I try not to rush any of it. It's hard. It seems few people like to "wait".... but, that is what Advent is all about. Waiting. Preparing. Being patient.
It's how I do it. It's how I keep it together. I take these days to address Christmas cards, to buy presents and then wrap them, to decorate... to prepare the home. To prepare my mind. To enjoy the music of the season. To breathe it all in.
The years are going by pretty fast. I really don't like rushing them along. One holiday at a time - thank you very much,
Welcome to Advent.