Everyone’s childhood and memory is different. In my childhood advent was a big deal.
The Christmas tree was put up on the first Sunday in advent. There were wreaths at church and at home with four candles in them. Those candles had names. They were called hope, peace, joy and love. There was also a special candle. The white one only to be lit on Christmas Day, the Christ candle. One more candle was lit each week. The world grew lighter. The light was coming.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5
Then there was the kitchen side of things. Mum making enough honey biscuits to get us through not just a Christmas season, but the whole of the school holidays and into Term 1. While granny spent hours making Latvian speckkuchen/pīrāgi in readiness for Christmas Eve. There was also a focus on repentance at church and in devotions, recognising our need for a saviour. We were preparing the table and preparing for our Lord.
In church the monotony of months of green paraments gave way to purple. The jacaranda trees joined in. The new church year blossomed. The King was coming.
And there was the advent calendar. I loved advent calendars. Those printed cardboard ones with windows to open. The temptation of wanting to open an extra day but having to go one day at a time. The thrill of discovery on opening the flap to see the image behind. And not just that one small image but how it interacted with the surrounds as a whole new picture emerged. Most of all it was the building excitement, the anticipation, that yearning to get to window number 24. Window number 24 that when you opened it had a picture of a baby in a manger. Our saviour is with us.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
At the tired end of another tiring year, I pray that your advent is one of anticipation and preparation and your Christmas is full of grace and truth.
Assoc Prof Lisa Schmidt