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.