I can’t remember the year Advent came to the threshold of our Christmas and stayed as part of the annual tradition in our house. The children were small and I searched for expressions to make the season more than merely the wait for Santa and the unwrapping of tangible wishes on that one magical morning. They were too young to look for anything else, and their childish hearts held plenty of delight and wonder at it all.
But I needed intention and thoughtfulness to help my scattered, tired soul focus on what this was that we celebrated.In the middle of the mess of homeschooling, holiday baking, the church play, and the never-ending list of gifts to make, buy and give I thirsted for a moment to be still and listen, to wonder, to follow the story and mull over the message.
My kids liked the candles we lit each night and the cookies they ate while I read. They sang the carols and took their own turns reading as the years went by. The wreaths changed, the books changed, but we gathered for a few minutes during the dark evenings to put the pause on our busyness and immerse ourselves in mystery.
This year we are in transition, a metamorphosis, and it seems an upside down sort of world. Yesterday my daughter said, “I think Christmas will make things right.”
“It will,” I agreed.
We don’t have to pretend to be full of joy this Advent. We don’t have to fake frivolity. We only have to bring ourselves, in all our brokenness and busyness, with our questions, doubts and fears, into the mystery and quietness of a love we cannot comprehend and will never earn. It is given to us. Advent is waiting.