According to Wikipedia (omg, a venue in which I can legitimately cite Wikipedia! hold on for a second while I savor this moment……….. consider it savored!), advent is “a season observed in many Western churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.” Clearly, Wikipedia knows what’s up!
I’ve always liked advent, probably because of the candles, but have really latched on to it with greater fervor in the last year or two. Apparently, someone picked up on that because the day after I frantically scoured all of Marshfield looking for 3 purple candles and a pink one, my mother- and father-in-law dropped off a beautiful advent wreath as an early Christmas gift. (How did they know?! Seth swears he didn’t tell them…) Since I absolutely couldn’t stand the thought of candles that didn’t match, I had settled on four white, vanilla-scented glass votives clustered around a poinsettia. The advent wreath my in-laws gifted to me was much more beautiful and included its own little Nativity scene. I’m in love with it.
I have to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t actually get to light all of the candles, and certainly not at the appropriate time. It just didn’t feel right to leave my kennel-bound puppy in the other room while we had a nice candlelit dinner (and she cannot be on linoleum right now without doing the whole Bambi-on-ice thing) so we mostly ate near the kennel as we waited for a miracle for the knee-that-simply-will-not-heal.
Even though I didn’t get to light all the candles in my own home, I was still able to reflect on what they mean and how important those things are to this beautiful season.
And lastly, on Christmas day, the Jesus candle, which is in my mind all of those things (hope, peace, joy, and love) wrapped into one.
I had a truly lovely Christmas, enjoying a brief time (marked by an unfortunate ice storm) at my parents’ house in Michigan and a day of gifts and food and warmth at my in-laws in Mosinee. But with Christmas come and gone, my thoughts, as usual, turn to my birthday, which is coming up mid-January.
On January 14th, I will turn 30. And I’ve had lots and lots of feelings about that number, which I plan to discuss later. Thirty feels like it should be something of a big deal. True, there are no new privileges connected to it, like a driver’s license or the ability to rent a car, no major milestones, like your sweet 16 or “adulthood” at 18. (Perhaps you reached the maturity of adulthood at the age of 18; I personally did not. Hence, the quotation marks.) So I’m going to have to do something else to make it a big deal– to reflect on those years between 1984 and 2014 and to decide how I want to enter this new phase of my life.
To use the exact advent imagery might be blasphemous or heretical or something like that (though that’s certainly not the intent). So I think I’ll write some blog posts instead.
This week, I will write about my hopes for 30.
During the week of December 29th, I will write about making peace with 30 and finding joy at 30.
During the week of January 6th, I will write about love at 30 and I will highlight 30 years of silver linings in my life.
And finally, on Tuesday, January 14th, I will welcome 30 with all of the hope, peace, joy, and love it deserves!
Because I love cake.
And I can’t imagine that 30 is going to change that.