We lit the first candle. Hung the felt advent tree. Bit by bit, Christmas items emerge from the bowels of the house.
Bit by bit aromas emerge from the bowels of those gathered in the living room. I cringe.
Will it EVER change. No, really. Will we EVER gather in serene bliss around the advent candles by the light of the Christmas tree without someone allowing foul air to escape their body, or someone rolling around on the carpet, or endless someones jockeying over who gets to light what candle and put up what piece so that they get to light the Christmas candle AND put up the manger on Christmas day?
Where is the peace? Expectant hope? Other than expecting to put up the first piece, which tonight happens to be the hanging of the felt tree. Anti-climactic. But the candle-lighting and subsequent snuffing…now THAT is to be coveted and makes the expectant hope of going first worthwhile.
Katie goes first. She gets to light the candle and snuff it out at the end. She gets to choose the Christmas carol. Doesn’t this sound heartwarming?
This year we have a candle snuffer thanks to Scarlet and gift and thrift. I actually remember where it is and run to dig it from a drawer in the buffet. Boy 3 picks it up during the advent reading and mimes that he is smoking a pipe. He also is the one who shares what he learned about the advent candles during the church service he attended with sister and fiance which seems a redeeming quality.
This is another new path. I am trying to relax into it. Taking one day at a time. Allowing memories to wash over me. Accepting that it has not been, is not, and will not be picture-perfect, but it has been real in whatever season we found ourselves. And there have been many.
The reading ends, and Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus is chosen by Katie as the song. We sing and then those who wish to pray offer up a prayer. It’s simple. It’s Day one. It’s not guaranteed to happen the same way tomorrow.
The candle is snuffed. There is no shower of hot wax hardening into small drops on the table. We disperse to various corners of the house, a memory made on this first day of Advent 2013. And there is hope.