What fun it was to have them poking the greens into the pine cone wreath (a gift from my sister Laura many moons ago!) and then adding the berries. Since I didn't have any new advent candles we scoured the candle drawer for three already used purples and one pink.
I would have bought new candles had I been thinking about it, but using partially burnt candles makes me think of the continuity of life. Another Advent, but one filled with memories of all the preceding ones. I may buy new candles, but probably not because I believe in the habit of my parents, which was never throw anything away if you can use it up or re-purpose it.
My next project is bringing up the nativity and setting up the stable with the animals and the manger, but no one there yet -- just waiting as we are for the Holy Family to arrive. The shepherds will be in the green felt "fields" watching over their menagerie of sheep. Some of the sheep wandered over from my grandparents' nativity set, some from my parents' set, and some added by us. What a host of memories fill my mind as I set about this joyful work!
A few years ago when we were at the Shrine of the North American martyrs, I bought a statue of Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem with an obviously expectant Mary riding on the donkey. How fun it was to add that to our Advent table. Mary and Joseph waited expectantly too.
The holiday season is filled with memories and offers us the opportunity to create new ones. How I look forward to the next four weeks. Help me, Lord, to make a good Advent filled with thoughts of all your gifts to us. Help me to respond with gifts for You, especially the gift of gratitude!
How are you spending this first Sunday of Advent?