I love Advent. When I was a child, it was a very special time in my church and painstaking preparations for the season were made by many. My mom almost always sang a solo and we played in the handbell choir often. The church had a real tree - a HUGE real tree - and it was dripping with Chrismons members had made in previous years using wire and pearl and gold beads. During each service leading up to Christmas, each child in church got to select a Chrismon to adorn the tree and choose its place. My favorite was always the triumphant cross... but I digress.
We put up all our Christmas decorations before we left for Thanksgiving, which allowed us to come home and have a whole day of rest to start the season. Unfortunately, we needed it more than we'd planned, as Julian has been in bed all day with what we hope is a bit of a 24-hour bug. Boo.
Anyhow, I wanted to share a list of some things that I like to use to help myself stay focused on the reason for the season. It is a little different not having kids, and there are things we don't do that I would like to do (wreaths, calendars, etc), but it doesn't make sense for just the two of us.
The Sounding Joy by Elizabeth Mitchell (good for kids)
Christmastide by Jessye Norman
Favourite Carols from King's by The Choir of King's College
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie
Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Woodworking for Mere Mortals Advent Calendar by Steve Ramsey
Felt Advent Calendar by Purl Bee
Brown Paper Calendar by Morning Creativity
And last but not least:
Our sermon from this past Sunday by Rev. Paul Carter