I am glad that Advent is a season of preparation and not perfection…or else I would have already failed!!  It seems as though this season has come upon me without me being fully ready.  I am trying to make an Advent menu (because we are going to try vegetarian eating except for Sundays) but it’s been on my desk for the last two days and I haven’t touched it once.  I just pulled out some books we will use for our journey into the next few weeks, but didn’t get to any readings tonight because I friend of mine had to go to the emergency room and I had her kids here.  (I don’t know if anyone else can relate…but I could use a few more days before Advent starts!  However, since I don’t have that, I want to take a deep breath and enter into preparation…not perfection!)

One thing we did do today is create a “kind-of” Jesse Tree.  My daughter and I put together an arch of twigs from the yard for the creche to go under.   You can tell we put it together ourselves but we had fun doing it!!  (In other words…we won’t be marketing our homemade “Jesse Trees” anytime soon!)  Anyway, the arch will reside over the creche and each night after we do these nightly readings, we’ll add a symbol/picture/ornament to the arch.

So then my daughter gathered 7 rocks from our garden and covered them with the colors of the Christian Seasons.  They are the anchor points for our Jesse Tree arch.  And of course, I had to get into our seasonal stuff and get out the creche.

I also pulled out a couple of the books we will use during this season.  My kids LOVE The Advent Book.   Even as they get older, they love to open the doors and read the story behind them.  Then Beginnings and Endings accompany our readings in the evenings.

May you enjoy the preparation of Advent and not worry or fall into perfectionism.  May we all not just fall into sentimentality (as we hear one more rendition of  “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”) but may we tell the Stories that deepen our faith and lead us into expectation.