The Advent season began this past Sunday.
In year’s past, I’ve rushed home from Thanksgiving travel and realized it was suddenly time to start thinking about Christmas and felt the immediate panic of already being behind. But this year feels remarkably different. The biggest marker in our lives being that Dan and I are going through RCIA classes, as we begin the process of joining the Catholic church. It’s a big decision for our family. A personal one. But also one that feels like I’m coming into a fullness of my faith that I haven’t experienced before.
It’s exciting. And fulfilling. And whole.
And part of that process and learning has been for me to put thought into the Advent season, how we celebrate it and how we anticipate the coming of Christmas. I’ve often felt like I’ve walked into Christmas Eve church services trying to frantically re-focus myself and my children on what really matters in the season.
But this year feels different.
We’re already starting the anticipation of what’s to come. Like the birth of a new baby, we are preparing. We are waiting. We are getting excited.
Though there is so much I could add to my list of Advent traditions, I’ve decided that the best thing for me is to add one or two small things each year.
This year, it is the lighting of the Advent wreath and meditations and reading over coffee and dessert every night after dinner. The girls take turns reading, and we sit together. And things slow down. And we light the candles. And we remember to anticipate what’s coming.
As I chose the things I wanted to add to our traditions this year, I hoped to add this Advent spiral to our celebrating, but missed my chance to order. Instead, I found a way to make the Nova Natural birthday rings work as we count down each day until Christmas. (I’ll share more ideas and specifics soon.) And an Advent wreath we made in class that I added holly and boxwood to when I came home.
Christmas books have been gathered together, only to be scattered again around the house. Birdy picks this one night after night at bedtime.
With all that’s swirling around me, I’m so glad to have this season and these moments in our day to be a little more mindful of what’s ahead and what’s important.
It’s just what this heart needs.