Today is my day to participate in the Virtual Advent Tour - a first for me. I have read several other posts, and must admit, I am thinking that my own Christmas traditions don't sound nearly as fun as some others I have read.
We don't have a special day we put up our tree. It is usually right before or after Thanksgiving, but it depends on our busy-ness. We are still searching for some form of stability in when we celebrate the holidays with my family and my husband's. Since we live close, we seem to be the ones that bend to everyone else's schedules. And, we still don't have any particular plan for when/if we give gifts to adults/kids. Hopefully this will all someday be ironed out.
I also have great intentions of using and sticking to an Advent calendar. I saw a very cute one that I really want to purchase, but have just not found the time or money. Plus, if I have it, I will then need to think of something to go in it each and every day.
As I am contemplating how un-planned and un-scheduled I feel compared to some, I am thinking about Mary. Here she was, ready to have a baby any day, and instead of spending her time in her home preparing for his birth, she was traveling. She didn't have any accommodations planned. Everything just sort of happened. I can hardly compare my lack of holiday organization to the events surrounding Jesus' birth. But, it has made me think a little about how much pressure is placed on spending, preparing, organizing, for an event that will come around on the calendar no matter how much or how little we prepare for it. I hope my daughters will think back on their childhood Christmases with happy memories. Maybe someday someone will show them what holiday baking really is. For right now, I will just continue rushing to concerts, program practices, bell choir rehearsals, along with gymnastics, piano lessons, Girl Scouts, and the other activities we still attend. At the end of each day of December, we happily (or not so happily) get our pajamas on, and try to find a few minutes to read aloud one of the many Christmas stories we have collected over time. There is quite an assortment and I am always glad to read and re-read these with my children. Each year we make a large stack of favorite titles, exclaiming over stories that have been forgotten over the months. And hopefully, we think on and remember the true reason for this celebration, the birth of Jesus the Son of God.