Whew! One big holiday down, one big month to go! How are you feeling about it? Are you ready, or not? Excited or exhausted? Anticipating or apprehensive?
Every year I get a little more excited about the month leading up to Christmas. I didn't grow up with any formal Advent observances. The churches I grew up in didn't have Advent readings or Advent candles. When we finally attended one that did, it seemed odd that in my solidly Christian upbringing, I'd completely missed out on such a long-standing tradition. It was so familiar within that church, that they didn't explain it for us newbies, so I still felt like I didn't "get it."
So I was happy to get to our church this morning and see that not only is Advent being observed on Sunday mornings, but they gave us tools to use within our own families. I'm looking forward to incorporating some of the traditional elements of Advent with the newer traditions we've created as a family.
I've shared a little about our family Advent traditions. I've already started getting the books and songs ready to begin on Wednesday evening. Although they're still a little focused on their Christmas lists, I can see that my boys are happily anticipating our Advent activities too.
I haven't always been so Christmas minded during the season. As I wrote this post for 5 Minutes for Faith I was reminded of one of the reasons these traditions are important to me; I have a tendency to get caught up in the details of making things special and I can miss the big picture, the real reason any of it matters.
There was one specific Christmas when (even though my name is Mary) I played the role of Martha to the hilt. Follow me over and let me know if you're more of a Mary or a Martha when it comes to Christmas.
(And then come back throughout December as I share a storybook and a song for our "25 Stories of Advent" tradition.)