Sunday, November 30, 2008

Celebrating Advent Anyway

Every year I determine that we will celebrate advent and not miss a single Sunday. And every year, without fail, we begin well enough, but fizzle out as the weeks tick by. Whiny children, unappreciative teens, and constant busyness combined with a lack of energy on the part of the parents all conspire to render Advent undone for another year.

But not this year.

This year I am going to take the crazy expectations out of the picture and just do the bare minimum. I haven't made special ornaments to hang or prepared crafts for us to do. I haven't made a special dessert and there is not an envelope of hot cocoa to be found in the house. I have checked the calendar, and we *should* be home each Sunday in Advent, so that's the first hurdle cleared. Now to just rally the troops and actually do it.

I have downloaded the advent guide that is available from Veritas Press and this afternoon I have spent some time reading posts like this one and this one to figure out what we need to do. (Here is a good guide with an explanation I found.) Yesterday I spent some time at the Christian bookstore near our house, pricing Advent wreaths and candles. I even had a prepacked set of candles in my hand for a mere $3.50. But I put it back, reasoning that we most likely have all the stuff to do it.

Turns out, I was wrong.

My lack of "proper" supplies almost deterred me. And to make matters worse, it's raining here-- raining so hard I don't dare venture out for the candles. And then as I was reading the different blog posts, I felt God whisper, "Don't get caught up in the details. Light a tealight, let Curt read the Scripture you already have and pray."

And so, this afternoon we are going to gather around the tv to watch our annual screening of Home Alone (we usually do this on Thanksgiving night but one of ours was gone and we had to wait for him to be home). Curt is going to pop a huge bowl of popcorn and they are going to be allowed to have Coke with it. And after the movie, we are going to light a tealight and gather around the table to listen to daddy read the passage from Isaiah and pray together as a family. Maybe sometime this week I will venture out for the "proper" advent supplies. Maybe by next Sunday I will have a special dessert planned and make some yummy hot cocoa to go with it. Maybe next Sunday's advent will be the picture perfect ideal I have in my head. Or maybe not. Maybe it will be just like the hodgepodge, thrown-together affair that it will be this evening.

Update: I added the photo at the top of my little makeshift Advent wreath-- which as you can see is not really a wreath at all! I found some votives we had in my candle drawer and used this little silver candle plate to hold them all in one place. I would like to add something to it, like some silver star garland or some little evergreen sprigs-- but I am fine to just leave it like it is, too. The important thing is that tonight we all gathered and observed Advent. It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.
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rural momma said...

I whole heartedly agree with you!! :0) I do have a wreath, which I bought this summer on our trip to Maine. I, however, don't the "proper" colored candles, but that's okay!1 :0) I, like you, spent time on the internet looking things up about Advent. Things got printed off, and tonight we will light the candle and read the scripture. :0) I also bought the book by Ann Vonskamp (sp?) and we will be using that to remind us daily of His coming.

MDearing said...

THANK YOU!!! I have spent the last 2 days online looking for advent info for our young children. We light a candle each Sunday as well that is when I remember where I put the wreath. I found the candles for 50 cents each at Dollar Tree and will all the lighting our children like to do, we use a set a season. It is a memory, I want them to treasure but need to develop further so, THANKS!!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Oh gosh, I feel the SAME way.

And I've almost missed week one.

I did buy some stuff this year. Sigh. I'm doing it tonight!