It’s the first week of Advent… the beginning of the season of great expectation… the first candle is lit.
And here I am hoping I can accomplish all there is to do; there is so much to do. Friends are posting notes on facebook, their shopping is all done. Mine is begun, not nearly done. People have houses decorated to the hilt, while mine is meagerly adorned. Presents all wrapped? Not mine. Not even the few I’ve already bought are done up in pretty paper with bows yet.
I have plans to run off to Philly for the first Christmas party of the season. Every year my Aunt Roselyn has a party to kick off the holiday. It used to be all of her sisters and, of course, Gram. When we were youngsters we called it the “Aunts’ Party”, but as we came of age it was a right of passage to be included too. Some of the aunts are gone as far away as Texas and Florida. Gram and Aunt Florence as far away as heaven. There’s room at the party for the next generation and for the next after that. Still, it’s the Aunts’ Party, and my cousins and I are privileged to attend.
I’ll do my best to take the spirit of advent — anticipation and expectation — with me. While away I’ll miss the lighting of the second advent candle, the candle of preparation. Hours with loved ones, laughing, catching up, telling stories will get me ready for the season. Hours alone in the car will afford time to reflect. This getaway will be my time of preparation. First of all preparing the way…for the Lord…in my heart. And then I’ll get on with those celebratory preparations, setting the scene for Christmas in my home.
“As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.'” (Luke 3:4-6)