Advent preparations begin...

I love the season of Advent, preparing for the celebration of Christmas. One of the newer traditions that I so enjoy is the now annual Christmas wreath making party at the Forde's home. You may remember I wrote about this event last year too here. The party actually took place on the first Sunday of Advent and as I was driving home, I began to think about all that this means.

I've written about Advent before, but each year I try to acknowledge and celebrate this season in a new and fresh way. I do that by reading a new book about Advent and listening to new (and old) Christmas carols that speak about His coming. 

The book I'm reading this year is Watch For The Light, Readings for Christmas and Advent.

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, Thomas Merton, C. S. Lewis, Henri J. M. Nouwen, John Donne, Meister Eckhart, Dorothy Day, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Edith Stein, Thomas Aquinas, Philip Yancey

To quote the introduction on the jacket of the book, "Though Advent (literally "arrival") has been observed for centuries, most people today acknowledge it only with a blank look. For the vast majority of us, December flies by in a flurry of activities, and what is called "the holiday season" turns out to be the most stressful time of the year."

"Even we who genuinely love Christmas often lose sight of its point. How many of us, content with familiar traditions and feelings of goodwill, forget the dank stable, the cold night, the closed door of the inn? How many of us share the longing of the ancient prophets, who awaited the Messiah with aching intensity thousands of years before he was born? We miss the essence of Christmas unless we become, in the words of Eberhard Arnold, "mindful of how Christ's birth took place." Once we do, we will sense immediately that Advent marks something momentous: God's coming in our midst. That coming is not just something that happened in the past. It is a recurring possibility here and now.  And thus Advent is not a merely a commemorative event or an anniversary, but a yearly opportunity for us to consider the future, second Advent - the promised coming of God's kingdom on earth."

I'm just getting into the book and I've enjoyed the readings I've read so far, yet have been challenged too. Get a copy and read along with me! Would love to hear your thoughts!

I want to share a newer Christmas song by a favorite young artist that has been running through my mind as I take down the fall decorations and get ready to deck the halls. I hope this Advent season will be one filled with moments of joy, wonder, and love for all of you. And songs and and old! Let the Advent season begin!

Do you have a new (or old) favorite Christmas carol? Would love to hear what it is! Warmly, Gracia