Monday, December 1, 2014

Entering Advent

It's coming down Christmas, and they're cutting down trees."  You know that Joni Mitchell song?  "I wish I had a river that I could skate away on."  Such a sad song, and not really about Christmas at all, but I was thinking about it as I was decorating my Christmas tree.  Unwrapping funky ornaments made of popsicle sticks and missing my mother so much I almost couldn't breathe." 
I'm home alone tonight, decorating our Christmas tree, which always makes me think of that scene from You've Got Mail.   I started last night, but this morning I remembered I forgot the ribbon.  The ribbon has to go on after the lights and before the ornaments, you know?  Since there are few things more delightfully nostalgic and wistful and wonderful than decorating the tree, I was happy to start over again.  

We had a quiet and simple Thanksgiving.  It was just our family of three plus a friend for Thanksgiving dinner.  We invited our neighbors on both sides, but neither set could come.  The morning of Thanksgiving, I stood at the sink washing dishes and feeling slightly defeated as I remembered that story Jesus tells about the man giving the dinner.  None of his guests could come, so he sends his servants out to gather in all the sick and lame and poor.  Maybe we didn't gather enough.  Maybe we were too timid in our invitations.  Or maybe it was just as important to love and serve our one friend who came.  I don't know.

Friday we ate dinner with my parents and a few other friends.  A puzzle was pulled out after dinner, and I guess you have to be a part of the Casey family to understand that even a puzzle is a competitive game.   If an activity doesn't have a winner, then what's the point?

A note from Aaron: And speaking of competition, we have been on a kick of Settlers and Quiddler. We tend to go on kicks with games. To keep the You Got Mail theme, Lara and I have distinctively different views of playing games against each other. I am a strategist, giving myself the best opportunity to win; pulling moves that can appear evil but am willing to admit defeat with good taste when I get out dueled - business. Lara on the other hand, "Business? What is that suppose to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's 'personal' to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?" And yet, we still keep playing and find our groove in the midst of it. She's my "NY152 insights into my soul."

We lit the first candle on our Advent wreath today.  Anna cried because we wouldn't let her hold the Book of Common Prayer.  Our copy is a tiny black book, and she thinks all the tiny things belong to her.  I let her hold the book of matches instead.  I'm not sure that was a good parenting move.  Don't judge.  Still, even clutching the matches, she cried great fat tears as Aaron prayed.  It wasn't a picture perfect beginning of our Advent tradition, that's for sure.  Aaron was praying, Anna was bawling, and I was silently shaking with laughter.

Oh, I love this season.  Turkey and puzzles and trees and twinkle lights. 

It's the month that we set the gaze of our hearts upon the baby Jesus and the month we set the weight of our expectations upon His return as King.   

Happy Advent, friends.

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