I’ve written before about our process of beginning to celebrate Advent. Its become a family tradition that is fun and deeply meaningful.
For the last few years I’ve started planning Advent in summertime, trying to gather materials and presents to help us celebrate in December. Last year we wrapped up 28 books for Beatrix, and she got to open one each day. She was old enough to kind of get it. She understood that each day, she got to open a package and then read a new book (some of which she was more interested in than others). I worked hard to choose good books that we would all enjoy – with no library access, this was all we would have to read, and I think reading with small children is one of the most important things a parent can do.
It was a lot of fun, and I was really looking forward to doing it again this year.
As I’ve started looking ahead at the months to come, trying to think about what to do for Advent and Christmas filled me with despair. Any option I thought about just brought pain. I couldn’t get excited about the idea of arranging 30 days of chocolate (or tea, or cheese, or whatever) for Mike and I… it seems so empty.
Yet, we can’t not celebrate. Our rituals and traditions are about things that are true no matter what our circumstances. Advent is about celebrating joy fulfilled – and at the same time, the recognition that our world is not right – and the longing and the hope that one day all will be well.
It seems to me that Advent is precisely what we need at this time in our lives.
I thought about a few years ago, when Mike and I wrote notes to each other for each day of Advent. This seemed like the best idea, but I am pretty sure neither of us is up for that kind of project. Then I remembered that we are surrounded by wonderful and amazing people who have been wanting to do things to care for us. One of the things we have appreciated so much over the last few months is the various emails, blog comments, and cards we have gotten from our friends. It has been such an encouragement.
We would like to organize that a little bit, so that we each have at least one new message to read from one of you, for each day of Advent. I have asked a friend to receive and organize them for us so that it can be a surprise.
It feels a little strange to be asking people to send us kind words – but please send us kind words! It doesn’t have to be eloquent, or even your own words – we would be happy with poems, songs, scripture verses, comics, etc – whatever you think is meaningful, true, beautiful, and/or funny.
You can email your messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (If there is anyone who wants to mail a card or something else tangible for the “calendar”, please send me a message and I will give you our friend’s mailing address.) Please have them to her before Nov 25 so that she has time to arrange everything before she delivers them to us.
In advance, thanks.