The Season of Preparation

The season of preparation is certainly upon us. It  seems  to happen earlier and earlier as I drive around town and see the decorations on people’s houses and yards. It brings a smile to my face to see the beginnings of the celebration of Christmas, but, I ask myself, why, why do we decide to bring this merry season into our hearts so early?

Early Beginning?

Some say commercialism is to blame, and I guess they are right because just as soon as the Jack O Lantern’s are put away the holiday items are stocked to the roof in most retail stores. I can only hope it is for more reasons than that, maybe because our schedules are so hectic, or we like to have everything ready to roll before December is upon us.  Climate does play a role in the logistics as we have been experiencing mild temperatures, so it is a nice time to get outside and get the task completed.

I was talking to my brother-in-law Darrell this weekend, reminiscing about how our parents got ready for the season.  We both agreed that it was the last week before Christmas that our parents placed the lights outside our houses.  In fact there were little lights to be displayed;  most was a string of lights outside or a wreath.  Today it is a illumination display that almost warrants sunglasses.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and I am actually a huge advocate of this progressive display of Christmas. I am also very aware of the preparation of the mental preparations of the season.

Making Ourselves Ready for the Birth of Jesus

Advent, which started today,  is a time of making ourselves ready for the coming of Baby Jesus, the reason for the season.  In our house we give blessings around the Advent Wreath every night, we sing advent songs and read passages from the Bible.  It prepares us for the greater reason for this season. It is not necessary to have a wreath in your home, but for my Christian friends, it reminds us of the good in life and the need to be ready to embrace this season. For those of you who do count down, please copy and paste this calendar it will guide your way for this wonderful season.

For those of you who would like a little more information on advent, here are a few links:
About the Advent Wreath – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent_wreath

How to Make an Advent Wreath – kencollins.com/question-10.htm

The History of the Advent Wreath – catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0132.html
Take care and feel free to pass this on to any family and friends.

Ron

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Signs of Christmas

Signs of Christmas

It’s just a few days before the start of Advent and American Thanksgiving. It is obvious that there are many signs of Christmas. Over the past few weeks people have been getting an early start to decorating for the season as a result of mild temperatures.
Final Products
Wreath Making

For me, some of the signs that Christmas is approaching are traditional, for example, the starting of the setup for our “Light Park” in Bay Roberts as well as our annual wreath making evening. The Bay Roberts intelligent Light Park is one of a few in Atlantic Canada, thousands of people visit the park each year and this year’s display will not disappoint.
Santa's Sleigh over the North Pole
Santa’s Sleigh over the North Pole

The wreath making tradition dates back to my teen years growing up in Riverhead Hr. Grace, we use to make them for our church. It was fun to go into the woods and get the branches and in the evening make the wreaths. We now do this with our special events committee for the last 12 years and it is just as fun now as it was 25 years ago. Once the wreaths are made we give them to organizations, charities and corporate sponsors. The smell of the freshly cut branches smelled delightful and certainly reminds me of this time of year, almost as much as the fresh smell of paint; but that’s another story for another time.
Both of these events get me in the mood to think about starting my preparations too. My family started decorating inside our new house; my kids wanted a tree in their play playroom, well it is now finished and they are having their bed time snack by the glow of the tree lights.

Another preparation for me is writing more blogs than usual. For the next month and a half I will be sending out notices about my Christmas blogs, I hope you enjoy them and decide to send them along to others who are Christmas Buffs.

The last sign of the beginning of the Christmas season that I will address should probably be the first, Advent.  It begins this week and marks four weeks of preparation. I hope you find the time to prepare physically and of course emotionally for the real meaning of Christmas.

Three Wise Men and shepherd
Three Wise Men – Illumination Park

See  Flickr for many more photos of the 2009-2010 Festival of Lights in Bay Roberts.

Bay Roberts Festival of Lights on Flickr  > >

Uncle Mose’s Flickr > >