Advent is my favorite "season." It is a quiet time for waiting, reflection, preparing. I love it. A peek of light in the darkness, speaking of good things to come. Yesterday we had our annual advent wreath workshop; this year, little boy did the wreath almost entirely by himself. I usually have very specific ideas of what I want, how I want it to look, but I let go and let him create this year. Letting go, preparing, waiting is my own personal theme for this advent season. It is hard to do that- I HATE letting go- but the results always pay off- in beautiful memories and unexpected blessings.
I went to a women's college in Winston Salem, founded by the Moravian church. Advent was very special in Old Salem, celebrated with beautiful white stars hanging in doorways, lots of beeswax candles, and greenery. It was simple and lovely. I've taken my cues for Christmas decorating from my four years in this special place- I don't put up our tree until midway through December, but our advent wreath is out, my simple advent calendar comes out, and in years past, I've hung a Moravian Star over our doorway. Sadly, it died last year (after eight years of advents) and I never got around to replacing it.
This year's advent preparations are more simple, and hopefully more meaningful. We've cut back on the extraneous- both gifts and activities. We're giving fewer, simpler, and more handmade gifts. I have some sewing to do, more pottery to make, and a bit of knitting to finish. I spent a large chunk of Saturday afternoon finishing rolled beeswax candles and making some paper star ornaments for packages. The smell of beeswax and the golden light these candles make me happy and fill me with hope. That's what advent is about- letting go and quiet, hopeful waiting and watching for the bright future.