I really do love Christmas. While the commercialism gets to me (as it does to everyone I think), I still love the rituals surrounding the season. I think that might be because while the secular aspects of Christmas are widespread, the celebration of Advent itself remains a uniquely Christian thing. It must be part of my almost-Catholic leanings, but lighting the candles each evening gives me a moment of quiet…a sense of the sacred mystery that comes with Advent. Light coming into darkness.
We started observing Advent with the wreath last year, and it really helped to remind me where my focus should be. I definitely get over-involved in cards, decorations and gifts.
This year I decided to go more traditional with the candles for our wreath. I had to do some searching, since it turned out to be more difficult than I thought to find several purple candles that would be large enough to last until Epiphany. The purple symbolizes repentance, but each of the candles have a different meaning. Today on the first Sunday, it is Hope. Our fourth candle is pink to represent Joy. While traditionally the Christ candle (the middle one) is white, I decided to go ahead and use ours from last year because I like that continuity.
This is definitely one of those traditions that I started “for the dutchkid”, but now I do it for me. In the midst of the holiday scramble, I hope you find some moments of peace and reflection this Advent season.