Sunday, December 07, 2014

Progressing --

As we progress through this season of Advent I am aware that one of the things I love about the season is the tradition -- the things we do over and over again year after year.  There is peace in that tradition again bringing calm to the chaos -- closing out the world for just a little while as we allow ourselves to be caught up in the familiar routines and customs of the season. 

Once Thanksgiving is over, we try to do most of the decorating and rearranging before December 1st because with the first Sunday in Advent we try to take a quiet approach to our days.  It doesn't always work, sometimes we are caught up in the excitement of the season but we try. 
We generally do our Advent lessons on Sunday.  Our granddaughter participates with us as we light the candles and have our devotion.  This year we have started doing something different.  I purchased a small nativity where everything is detached and able to be set out individually.  I also purchased a small stable.  So, prior to the first Sunday I set out the stable and on the first Sunday, after devotion, we set out Mary and Joseph.  Tonight we added the angel.  This little set is so cute and sweet and is just the right size for this sort of activity.

We also added the second candle to our Advent wreath.  When my children were little I had a children's wreath but the candles were an odd size and hard to find so I finally replaced it with the one I am using now.  Again, this is a tradition we have done for years now and I look forward to it every year. 

So, while we move on toward Christmas, progressing through the remainder of the year and looking forward to a new year I am struck by the sameness of the rituals -- looking forward to the new and yet loving the security of the old.

I hope you had a wonderful Second Sunday in Advent.


Last year while browsing through a gift shop in North Richland Hills -- Apple Annie's -- I just caught this little nativity in the corner of my eye and knew I had to have it.  It is just the sweetest thing.

The same thing happened to me this morning at church.  Our church is in a historic neighborhood full of gorgeous old houses (  Each year in early December the neighborhood hosts a tour of homes and our church, being the gorgeous building that it is and being that it is in the middle of the neighborhood also hosts a tea room and a craft bazaar.  Today during coffee hour I had the opportunity to look at some of the offerings in the bazaar and  found the cutest little nativity.  It was only three pieces -- Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus -- and it appeared to be carved from rock.  There were actually two of these sets -- one large one and one small one and I would have bought one of them on the spot but the bazaar hadn't begun yet and there was nobody there to buy it from.  The booth it was in was sponsored by a children's book store, Monkey and Dog, that is owned by a fellow parishioner.  I am planning on visiting her store later this week and if the little nativities are there I will be bringing one home with me.  I wish I had a picture to show you but I will share if I actually buy one of them.

I really do enjoy collecting nativity sets -- I have several but they are all small or one piece and unique in some way.  I find that just looking at them brings peace to the chaos.   What do you collect to dress up the season?