And it Begins


Today is the first Sunday of this wonderful, hopeful, expectant season.  The liturgical colors turn from green to purple and we all turn our minds and hearts toward the coming of our Savior.  We remember His coming as a tiny baby in a stable surrounded by animals and hay and wait anxiously to celebrate that day, His birthday, again.  We also take these four weeks before Christmas to examine and prepare our hearts again for the second coming of our Lord.  It's not that we are not always doing this, but that we try to pay more attention this time of year.

Even though I am behind in my planning this year, it seems I've done this enough times that it's just coming together for me.  In fact, this may be the first year that I've gotten the Advent decorations up on time!  Of our two Christmas bins, one is labeled "Advent" so that box has been opened and much of the contents have made their way into Grasshopper's room already.  I'll have to venture in there to take back what belongs in the living areas!  Our Advent wreath, with its three purple candles and one rose candle, is set up on our prayer shelf and our Nativity (with the baby Jesus hidden until Christmas Eve) is on display as well. 

I've also gotten a chunk of our Christmas shopping done.  On Friday while the stores were full of crazed shoppers, I got online and bought all the gifts that must be sent in the mail.  Then, last night, after my husband came home from work, I ventured into town for some gathering of supplies including stocking stuffers and Christmas dresses because I'm always rushing just before Christmas for these items.  I also picked up ornaments for the kids and one family ornament.  I do this every year.  Each ornament is labeled with the year and the child's initials so that one day they can be handed on to the child they belong to.  This year our family ornament is an Oregon Ducks snowman to remember this great football season!

Here is what I still need to do:
  • write and send Christmas letter
  • plan Christmas Eve dinner
  • buy gifts for children (only four gifts per child plus one Santa gift...are you reading this my dear husband?)
  • buy gifts for childrens' teachers
  • put up Christmas tree and lights
Okay, so I still have a lot to do.  I'm just happy that time has made it all a little easier.  It is not so overwhelming and maybe even a little bit fun.  I really hope that I'll be able to find some time for reflection and prayer this year instead of rushing around with the masses of frenzied, "stuff"-crazed people.

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