Advent

I am a stickler about Advent.

There are those who decorate before Thanksgiving, or the day after.  Target had their first Christmas decorations out well before Halloween.  It’s ridiculous; one thing at a time, please. Everything needs room to breathe.  I loved that this year there was an extra week after Thanksgiving, before Advent even started.  Things feel less rushed.

So Advent starts today, which means now we can start getting ready in earnest. Yes, I got a tree yesterday, but didn’t decorate anything until today.  I got out my nativity sets first. I have three, which is excessive, but they’re all special.  My mom gave me this little tiny one made by a tin artist a long time ago.

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I bought this one in a village in Ghana, where they make lost wax brass sculptures.

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This one belonged to my great aunt Virginia, who played jazz piano.  The church where she was an organist gave it to her as a gift.  It’s made from olive wood and came from Jerusalem.

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I love them all.  You’ll notice there’s no Baby Jesus in any of these scenes.  Yet.  They’re all in separate corners of the house, and the thing is, you have to move them a teeny bit closer every day until Christmas, when you put them where they belong.

It was also time to hang up the Moravian star.  I grew up in Winston-Salem and went to Candle Teas every Christmas, and the smell of those handmade beeswax candles always makes me feel like a child again.  Moravian stars at Christmas feel like home.

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I’m still working on the tree.  I usually wrap white lights around the trunk, and then do oodles of colored lights everywhere else.  Of course I went opposite this year.  I wrapped colored lights around the trunk and then white lights on the outside.  I can’t decide whether I like it, but it looks pretty from the street.

It’s not done.  Nothing’s done.  Gifts are half wrapped; still have a few to finish; can’t even think about cooking; it’s too warm to hang up garlands on the porch this soon.  That’s not the point, though.  It’s not about being ready for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and going full-tilt until you collapse in a heap on the night of the 25th.  It’s about preparing, and waiting, and enjoying the anticipation.  Taking things slowly. It’s about mindfulness. It’s much more fun that way.

My tree still needs some work, but I decided to make silver paper garlands while I watched Elf.  I’ll probably make some glitter snowflakes, too, just for fun.  I added white angels and sparkly silver ornaments, and then I’ll get out the ornaments I can’t live without.

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I’m saving my stash of disco ball ornaments for last. This tree needs a little glam.

They’ll be worth the wait.

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