I am a believer that some things in life can remain simple and sacred. And one of things is the Advent season. Technically beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas and culminating on Christmas Eve, it is a season of preparation for and anticipation of Christmas. Retail and media in our culture do dominate. But for a few minutes, as many evenings as we can, as many as are home will gather around the lighted candles to sing a few carols and reflect on the meaning of Christmas.
So, now you are thinking thoughts like idyllic, romantic, religious maybe. Not so. If only you could imagine the elaborate schedule of turns for the lighting and snuffing out of candles that evolved over last year’s Advent season, instigated by Teenaged Daughter. It required lengthy debate over fairness vs. unfairness at the start of EACH evening, I assure you! Or how about the evenings when The Children decide that musical instruments should be played? By the time instruments are out and tuned, and carols have been chosen that everyone can play in their key signature of choice (“What, am I supposed to transpose this on the spot????”), romance and religion are the farthest things from anyone’s mind.
Nonetheless, we persevere, because it helps us to stay focused in the midst of a consumerist, over-the-top, too busy culture. And on occasion, there IS an idyllic moment…simple and sacred.
O come all ye faithful.