Just once I wanted to have a quiet, wonder-filled Advent—an oasis from the blitz of baking, shopping, mailing and entertaining that Christmas can become.
I bought a lovely Advent wreath and candles, selected a devotional book for our family, and had everything arranged the moment the Thanksgiving dinner was cleared. I had hoped these nightly Advent celebrations would be peaceful respites of quality family time. Think again.
My dream of a family singing by soft candlelight was smashed by my real-life children, squabbling over who got to light the candles. The next night, the issue was who would pick the hymn, followed by shouting over who would blow out the candles.
Advent does not exclude naughty children who fight over candles or frazzled parents who sometimes think their families should be like TV families. Advent is for real people, all people.
This message was adapted from “A Real Christmas” by Karen Melang that appeared in the December 1991 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.
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