Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting For Advent

It’s almost here and once again, I’m behind the curve. 


I didn’t grow up hearing that word let alone, knowing what it meant.My family was never introduced to the customs of Advent. We didn’t light candles on a wreath at the dinner table or even open doors on a children’s calendar to reveal treats. I grew up in the late 50’s and 60’s when families of post-World War 2 veterans enjoyed new suburbs sparkling with Christmas lights and department store windows were filled with America’s newest must-haves. The war was a memory, the boys were back and all seemed right with the world. 

In our house, in the days preceding Christmas, music felt constant.  A large cherry cabinet sat in the corner of our paneled family room. It was a modern hi-fi record player. Inside sat the turn table and a stack of albums perched to drop. The front speaker, clad in burlap and wire mesh, hummed out carols from albums we purchased yearly at the Firestone tire center. I still have them. Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Andy Williams were the men who dominated that prized hi-fi. And the man who was the star of Christmas was, without question, Santa Claus.

Jesus waited patiently.

He still does.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I fully entered into the church world. It was then I learned of Advent. The weeks preceding Christmas when we who call him Savior try to still the voice of commercialism and focus on the one true gift. Since then, every year, I realize that I haven’t come up with a plan on how to make the Advent season more meaningful. Do I quickly look for ideas on the internet? Should I go buy a wreath and candles? And where are those purple ones for the last week? Would it be okay to substitute colors that fit my decor or would that seem irreverent? Do I buy a calendar and fill it with treats for my husband who wants to keep his weight down? And what does chocolate candy have to do with the Christ child?

I’m telling myself to calm down. I don’t need to panic or feel as if I’ll miss the meaning. I’ve changed a bit since the 60’s and I’ve given my heart over to Jesus. I understand the true meaning, although it’s still hard to focus sometimes. I’ll always enjoy the other things associated with the season and I’ll take part in most of them, but I hope to always center myself where it matters. The traditions passed down are numerous, but reading the Bible and spending time thinking about it outweigh everything else. 

So, that’s my plan for Advent. I’ll bring my coffee mug and worn-out bible to my favorite chair each morning. I might put on some quiet music and if I have it all together, I may even light a candle.

Jesus waits patiently.

He still does.