Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I have always loved Christmas. This time of year always brings fond memories with my family (not to mention delicious peppermint flavored coffee treats). Whether it was decorating the tree with my brother or baking with my mom we were together, collectively working and celebrating the season. As Will and I now shape our new family, I hope to carry on some of our established family traditions while weaving in some new traditions of our own.

I LOVE this book. Gertrud Mueller Nelson shares a variety of her family's traditions and rituals as they observe the Christian calendar. I read it for the first time a couple years ago, and now I pull it out several times a year. I have started reading about Advent again, trying to reconnect with the meaning of this time of year.
In the past several years I have grown fond of Advent and its representation of hope and life. Advent is a season of waiting. Nelson compares this time to being pregnant with life that is waiting to be birthed. She calls us to prepare our minds and body for the coming of Jesus.

My life to date has not contained many reflective moments around holidays, especially Christian ones that are mindlessly welcomed in and ushered out. As I have gotten older I want to be mindful of what it is I am really celebrating. This is tricky for me since I generally operate in two modes: sleeping and full throttle. When I get ready for Christmas, I make my lists and squeeze every last item in. Who cares if you get to enjoy the holiday? A completed list seems more important than the actual observation.

We have had our Christmas tree for a week and it is not decorated yet. This NEVER happens. My usual plan is to get the tree, decorate all at once, and collapse exhausted to admire the lights. This doesn't tend to lend itself to enjoyment. Since the whole house couldn't be around the afternoon we cut the tree, we are waiting to decorate the tree together. Thankfully all this waiting has allowed me to admire our evergreen and appreciate its beauty. I get to have this great tree in our home. It smells wonderful, and I love taking it in as I walk through the room several times a day. While waiting isn't easy, it has drawn the process out and made it more exciting.

This time of waiting is a great period to rediscover what I really believe to be true about Jesus. Who is this Jesus I am waiting for? What does he have to offer? With all the heartache in the world do I really believe that Jesus can/will make everything whole again? The excitement of what Jesus has to offer reminds me of being a child on Christmas morning. My eyes would pop open first thing. I would hop out of bed and race to the den to see what was under the tree. It is this childlike spirit that I wish to hold on to as the season progresses. 

"Waiting, because it will always be with us, can be made a work of art, and the season of Advent invites us to underscore and understand with a new patience that very feminine state of being, waiting." Gertrud Mueller Nelson

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