As posted by me at RevGals:
Good morning, all! In the United States we are waking up from our annual turkey feast, a day and meal surrounded by traditions of all sorts.
One of my favorite Thanksgiving morning traditions is listening to a National Public Radio program called “Turkey Confidential,” in which Lynne Rossetto Kasper and a selection of celebrity cooks take calls from people with problems like, “I put too much cayenne in the cranberry sauce!” and get advice like, “Add a little fat, like cream, to cut that heat.” It’s folksy and amusing, and celebrity chefs join in as well. And I do it every year, so: it’s a tradition.
Waiting for us, just around the corner, is Advent, which almost all of us observe in some way…whether by that name or no, we are all preparing for the coming of the Christ.
Today’s Friday Five, following that line, is Advent Confidential. What are your favorite traditions, observances, hymns, or memories of Advent? Is there something you remember from childhood that you’d like to do again? A funny story you can share about the time the Advent wreath got a little over-lit? We are here and listening!
Play along with us, and if you do so on your own blog, let us know in the comments.
1. As a child, I loved lighting the Advent wreath at the dinner table, and taking turns doing a reading that ended with the antiphon: "Our King and Saviour draweth nigh / O, come let us adore Him." Given our current work schedules and preferences, we rarely eat at the table, so if this happens it's elsewhere.
2. I must confess that part of the fascination in the above was lighting a candle at the table, which was not usual for us and which my sister and I fought to be able to do. What is that fascination with fire? We also had a long-handled candle-snuffer, which I learned in Godly Play teaching (as an adult) to call "the light-changer." (The light never goes away...it just changes.)
3. When I was little (this was the early 70's) my mom made us a wonderful Advent calendar out of felt, a wall-hanging of a Christmas tree with little ornaments in numbered pockets below. Every day we could put an ornament on the tree. We had some Advent calendars of the paper variety as well, but I would love to see that homemade felt one again. Mom, any idea where it is?
4. I appreciate Advent as a change of liturgical season and a time to re-charge my devotional batteries. There are very many printed and online resources for Advent, and I always choose one. In the past, as noted above, family Advent observances were at dinner time. Now I weave them into my morning prayer time.
5. One of my most favorite things to do in the Advent season is to sit and read by the light of the Christmas tree. In my childhood family, we put it up in the days following Thanksgiving, so there was a good long time for that. As I look back at this, I am lying on my stomach with my book propped up on a stack of wrapped gifts. The varicolored lights on the tree make for wonderful reading. Today, I am not likely to lie on the floor to read, particularly since the floor is hardwood, and I think I might need a little bit better light. But I'll get a chair close by the tree.
2013 Advent: I am excited for a trip to Houston (where I grew up) in December, just before Christmas. My mom, dad, younger sister and I will meet there for a visit with two of our older siblings and their offspring...which include my parents' three great-grandchildren. The youngest two we have never met, as they live in LA and New York. It is great anticipation...as is the waiting (come Spring) for my first grandchild. :)