Yesterday was the first day of Advent, the first Sunday to celebrate, and wonderfully, I finally celebrated it.I made a new holiday tradition. I’ve never done it before.
In years past I’ve looked it up online, thought about it, planned on doing it, checked out a couple of books from the library and sometimes just forgot and sometimes was just too overwhelmed at this time of year and didn’t do anything. As someone who grew up in a family that celebrated Christmas and Easter, they were woefully inadequate when it came to religious or spiritual education, support, mentorship, and membership by my family.
My parents were both raised Christians, but in my childhood, they did not attend church, talk about God or Jesus, teach anything positive or good about God, or be a role model on how to be a good person, a spiritual person, or a religious person. Anything positive would have been helpful. I love celebrating holidays. As a Christian I especially love Christmas time and I think my blog is an obvious example of that.
So I thought that Advent might be a wonderful time to celebrate. What I have learned personally in trying to do something new is: research, plan ahead, lower expectations, make small but enjoyable goals, and be kind to yourself, no matter what.
So this year I did look over a couple of Advent books from the library, as well as a couple of online sites, decided to make my first Sunday of Advent very low key and undemanding.
I thought the idea of a wreath would be so cool. I love the smell and look of pine, but I tend to not buy real and the artificial doesn’t look good enough to me. So I decided not to have a wreath.
I listened to Christmas music all day long. It is kind of my idea of fun most any day of the year, so that went great.
My artificial tree was up, though it was not completely decorated. I usually do that slowly over several days. But I had the Christmas lights lit up all day and I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights.
I didn’t buy any new candles, yes I thought some purple candles would be ultra cool, I know I’m a total geek when it comes to candles, I love them, but then I decided to make it even more doable, by just using some white tea light candles that I already have. Here’s the thing, I sit down to light the candle and it occurs to me that I don’t have any matches or lighter. I don’t really light candles and it’s weird but I guess I should have planned ahead, right? I had gotten in the habit of living in other people’s houses or shared spaces to not light candles, for safety.
Luckily I had two artificial candles and turned one of those on. I made a great, but easy meal, of food that I enjoy a lot.
Trying to decide on something to read or think about I got overwhelmed, this is kind of where I tend to get overwhelmed, since the celebration is for me alone, and planning on reading devotions tend to overwhelm me, to the point where I can give up on doing stuff, too many things to do.
Instead, I have a small manger scene of young children and I set it up near where I was sitting and while I ate my meal I looked at the scene, looked at the candle, listened to the music, and felt all the feelings of acceptance and love that I feel from God, from Jesus.
And then I had chocolate! It was great. It was the best.
A new holiday tradition, with me at my apartment, with peace and harmony, and love and acceptance. I liked it a lot.