Some Adventy Thoughts
We pulled out Christmas decorations yesterday, and, while they’re not all out of the tubs yet, we did make some progress in making our house look festive. Grace was so excited to help with the tree, and it was fun to see what she remembered about Christmas–like the little snowman ornament from my grandma that has her name on it. We use cotton batting under our tree as fake snow, and she also remembered trying to eat it last year. I laughed as I thought back to when I found her gagging on it… hopefully Sophie won’t make the same mistake! I haven’t yet come across the Advent candles or their holder, but I’m fairly confident that we need to replace them, anyway. I also remembered last night that I’d forgotten all about the Advent calendar–clearly, we’re doing well on staying on top of things here.
The Little People nativity set is out in Grace’s room. I think it was all of 15 minutes before baby Jesus was misplaced. Grace allowed Sophie to bring a little farmer and his cow (from our farm set) to Bethlehem, even though it was a struggle for her to do it. I also have Away in a Manger constantly stuck in my head, thanks to the girls continually pushing the button that plays it. On the plus side, it’s now very obvious when someone isn’t napping, because I hear the music coming from Grace’s room.
I keep starting to stress out about everything happening this month (it’s December already!!) but force myself to chill the heck out and focus on what Advent is really all about. Coffee and biscotti help, and so does the daily Advent reflection I have emailed to me. I highly recommend it, by the way. (Both the coffee+cookie combo and reflections–check ’em here.) There are lots of good things happening this month: Grace’s Christmas program, holiday parties, still finishing up the basement guest room so it’s usable at Christmas, all the doctor appointments that happen in the last few weeks of pregnancy, etc. So many good things, but as the number of them increase, it becomes easy to let the task list become the center of attention.
We also have most of our Christmas shopping done, which is unheard of for us, and it does feel much better to have that weight lifted. Not that it’s a burden to shop for the people we love, but I think most everyone can relate to the stress of trying to find the perfect gift for each person, making sure it arrives/is wrapped/shipped on time, all while not breaking the budget.
Amidst all the Christmas hustle and bustle, we also are realizing how little time is left before our new little one arrives. The baby is due in just over a month, which is crazy (we’re going to be outnumbered! I wonder where the baby things are?). When I actually take a moment or two to think about it, I’m struck by the parallel sense of expectation and preparation between getting ready for this new baby and another one that was born in a stable 2,000 years ago. Just as I get my home ready to receive a new member of our family, I’m also trying (struggling, yes? but trying) to get my heart ready to receive the little Savior at his arrival. To wait in humble hope for the joy of that day, and to attempt to instill that same hope in my kids as we celebrate on Christmas morning.