The slip of paper in the Advent Calendar today asked, “What Advent/Christmas traditions do you like best?”
To my delight, the Advent Calendar made the list (and the candy inside it). Lima Bean loves putting the nativity scene up. Lady Bug enjoys decorating the tree. Both bears are looking forward to seeing the lights downtown and to making cookies. I’ll slip these activities into the little boxes beside the candies and I’ll add some activities they haven’t thought of or remembered yet.
Before we decorate, there will be days of making space. Before we make our want lists, we will make our give lists. We will take extra time to be together on the cold dark nights. Board games and hot chocolate. Maybe even a gingerbread house.
I asked if there were any traditions they didn’t like. Lady Bug yelled, “Soup! Oh wait, that’s not Christmas.”
Those are the best things. The ones that belong to our family, arising out of bad jokes, favorite presents, the foods we love (or not). The Christmas Charades game that gave us Blisten the reindeer and the Kettle Slayer’s own unmistakable dance. Aunt Vicki’s molasses cookies. Finding an Advent hymn we haven’t heard before. A walk through a snowy park. What we keep and what we forgo.
Advent is a season to make your own. To go deeper into the traditions by way of new eyes and new experiences. To connect to those before us in words, foods, and songs.
This is where we make our family and our faith truly ours.
The view from my sewing room window was grey and gloomy today. Perfect for entering the contemplative season of Advent.
I didn’t expect to be home in the quiet tonight. Thanksgiving Eve is the night we traditionally hold our benefit concert for heating assistance. Many inches of snow and slippery roads have changed the plan.
I didn’t expect to have the time for an after-dinner nap. Or to be able to knit a little more on this tiny sweater. Or to be listening to guinea pigs snort and squabble in my living room. (They’re just here for a visit while the bears are away.)
The tiny sweater pattern is Sock It To Me Baby, one of my favorites from the knitting shop in Wausau – Black Purl . Living an hour from WEBS is lovely, but their atmosphere has nothing on my old shop. I do miss it.
Tomorrow may bring more unexpected happenings. May we all meet them with grace and joy.