It’s advent season again.
In our home we set up candles on a table in the corner of the living room and hang the felt tree with pieces to put up each day from December 2 to December 25. Various nativity scenes also take over the table, placed there by the children to whom they belong.
In an ideal world, each day we would gather as a family in the living room, have a system for who goes first, rotating by year to give all a fair shot at the manger on Christmas morning. We have yet to find that ideal place.
The routine has become to gather in the living room, figure out whose night it is to put up the piece, have the piece placer place the piece, struggle through where the piece will be placed, have the piece placed, have the piece placer read the corresponding Scripture, choose a carol, and close with prayer and snuffing out the candle.
Life is never routine here, so often pieces pile up leaving several to do in one night.
Allow me to give a recent example . . .
It’s a three-candle night. The pile of pieces rests on the table next to butterfly binoculars and a Rudolph headband craft. Let’s back it up.
Here you have a clearer view of the xbox controllers and sundry nativities. And the placement of pieces on (or off of) the tree.
This is a five or six piece night, which tells you that we have not been consistent with advent. Child one takes his first turn.
Some improvising takes place, invoking laughter, an inside family joke inserted where the angel of the Lord is supposed to be making an announcement. We laugh and regroup.
The next child reads, adding her version of humor before putting up a piece and choosing a song.
And so on, until . . .
Finally the baby gets a turn.
Notice that the sheep is taking a bite of the pear. That is important.
And here you have what the felt advent tree looks like once we have caught up with it. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will try again.