Here's something I wrote back in the winter of 2010. It seems like way more than two years has past. Anyway, in lieu of being original and ambitious, I've decided to give you this recycled post because it's all I can manage at the moment. Also, the original comments are here. If you commented two years ago, please feel free to comment again! Have a happy Advent everyone.
Here's what the beginning of the season looks like for us...
We get really excited about the wreath, go to look for it in the attic and realize it's lost again. Someone (it could be me) complains that our house is a mess and disorganized and then threatens to throw out everything in the attic. Someone else walks in with the Advent wreath and says,"were you looking for this?" I look for candles and can't find any. I run to the store hoping that I will be able to find pink and purple candles. I believe this is the year the store will have stocked enough of these. But alas, there are no pink or purple candles to be found within a 20 mile radius of the town where I live. I make a mental note to not wait until the first day of Advent to buy candles next year. I get white candles instead and tell the kids it really doesn't matter and Jesus would not be upset, but this doesn't make anyone feel better and there is still the belief that Jesus would be upset, at which point I get upset and beg my children to go with the flow a little more because I am their mom and if they don't learn to do that while living with me they are going to be miserable. I get super crafty and tie pink and purple ribbon around the candles and then someone starts to worry that the ribbon is going to catch fire.
I look through my Advent schedule and get out the appropriate readings, at which point all of my children who know how to read descend on me and start arguing about doing the readings. I say something reassuring like, "See, this is actually something Jesus would be upset with." Then I read the readings and tell them I will continue doing that all through Advent if they all scream like that again. We finish and I ask if anyone has anything they want to say. We all look at each other like a bunch of mutes and I start to wish we were one of those families that felt free and easy talking about their thoughts on God. We end with an "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" and I almost start to cry because nothing sounds sweeter to me than the sound of my kids saying these two prayers together. And the fact that Maggie can almost recite them on her own this year just about breaks my heart in two, in the best kind of way of course.
I have set my standards low this year for the Advent Season. I simply want to light the wreath every night, read our meditations, have a few minutes of quiet and not argue about who gets to blow the candle out, and really should anyone else but the three year old be allowed to do this? Should there even be the slightest argument?