Whether a RevGal or a Pal most of us in this cyber community have enhanced responsibilities during this time of year. We also have traditions – religious and secular – that mark the season for us in a more personal way.
For this Friday Five please let us know five of the things that mark the season for you.
1) Lighting the Advent Wreath — I grew up Baptist, and I never had an Advent wreath, but I remember reading about the wreath Maria made for the Von Trapp children in "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers." My mother read the book aloud to me when I was about five, and the image of that family gathered around a wreath spoke to me. I've told the story before that we used to do one at home, but I found it harder to keep that going after I began serving a church. Most famously we once forgot to snuff out the candles on it before leaving for church on Christmas Eve. Thank goodness I remembered!!! The Father of My Children raced to our nearby home and put them out before disaster occurred.
2) A Real Christmas Tree — I like one that takes up space. We don't have a good house for it, and we've tried numerous positions. This year it's going in the sunroom, where big windows will make it visible to our neighbors and where we can enjoy it both from the dining room and the living room. We put it in there once before, when Sam was a puppy, mostly to keep it away from him. I'll miss wondering if he will treat a tree with respect, so to speak.
3) Things My Mother Made — I love opening the boxes of ornaments and decorations, and one of my favorite things is finding the Christmas tree skirt she made for me many years ago. It's white felt, with felt cut-outs of our house in Jane Austen's Village and the church of my childhood and even a grey cat, just like the two we loved many years ago. My mother also sat in once at a stocking making session of the Mother's Group at Large Church. This was long enough ago that I had only one child, but when we sold the stockings at the Church Fair I bought an extra. After Snowman was born, my mother took all four of our stockings and added names and additional decorations to them. When LP came along, after my mother died, a sister-in-law helped me make a similar stocking for her.
Thank goodness the child in my car most of the time agrees. So far.
5) "O Come, All Ye Faithful" — Sung at the beginning of the service on Christmas Eve, it brings back childhood memories and marks the arrival of Christmas for me. (The more verses, the better.)
And the bonus? Tell us one thing that does absolutely nothing for you.
Oh, dear. Here's the truth. I'm a decoration snob. I can't help it. I grew up in the long, dark shadow of Colonial Williamsburg, indoctrinated into the belief that anything other than a single, tasteful candle at each window would be mortifyingly tacky.
So, I don't like the blow-up things in people's yards.
Well, sometimes they amuse me. (But don't tell anybody.)