There are several reasons why I'm looking forward to advent this year. One of which is that I think our pastor is going to do a great job preaching through Advent and Christmas. Although we haven't talked that much about it I think he sort of understands the strange mix of nostalgia, longing, and childish glee that makes up the Christmas season. I'm glad because I've always struggled with a deep longing for the holidays to be "good." And of course it was never good enough. The awe with which a youngster sees the beauty of a Christmas village displayed on a hutch only makes the bad times that much more jarring. There are more expectations yes, but I think that Christmas is somehow by it's very nature beautiful. The Light of the World comes down to earth and suddenly any bit of sordidness, any unresolved frustration or bitterness, is thrown into sharp relief. It's like a picture of a lovely women only the painter drew spiders crawling up her arm. It's beautiful and horrible at the same time. Anyway, I've struggled with that balance for a very long time, and I'm hoping this Christmas I'll finally start getting a handle on it.
Other things to look forward to this advent.
Christmas decorating. This year I'm going to help a friend of mine decorate. So decorating my small-ish 1970's apartment here in my thrifty, creative wife fashion then on to my friend's historic house to decorate inlaid wood paneling with a lawyer's wife's budget. Yeah I'll end up doing my thrifty thing over there, but who doesn't want more decorations to put up a Christmas? Besides my husband? That notwithstanding we are also going to go decorate Mamaw's place down at the farm. This is something I have been looking forward to ever since we did it for the first time last year. I even bought her some more lights to hang up outside. Light hanger-uppers included of course :D
Beyond that: cookie making -some with my friend's kids. Looking forward to that. Visiting with family. Opening presents with my in-laws. Going down to the farm for Christmas dinner with the family. Looking at lights. Christmas party at Workplay. Being part of the candle-lighting liturgy at church. Yeah, it's going to be a good Christmas.