I remember how, when our children were growing up, we hosted many holiday events, including suppers each Sunday in Advent, a big neighborhood caroling party, plus Epiphany, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners with family and friends. Some years I invited my women friends for a present wrapping party. Such fun to chat and laugh and nosh while wrapping presents. Over the years we have opened our homes, all decked out and looking their festive best.
I have been feeling bit guilty about all the effort and energy it takes to decorate even this house. True, we don't have the multiple trees we did in our 1906 Victorian. We have no staircases with garland wrapped in white lights and no fireplaces with mantels to fill with greens and glowing, glittery creations. But make no mistake, this house, too, is the setting for Christmas magic.
Was it worth it, the two full days we devoted right after Thanksgiving to decorating the house? Especially since we aren't hosting many events. And will the two days needed to dismantle, defrock and restore the house after New Year's be worth the effort?
In the morning we plug in all the lights and just before going to bed, we unplug them and in-between we move through our routines, the tasks of the day, and there are plenty right now. But we have a framework: the lights of Advent.
Yes, it is worth it. I am reminded of the beauty, the hope, the joys, the promises of this season wherever I look in our home. This is not just any time. This is Advent.
My prayer is that I take all those open-hearted feelings into the world wherever I go, whatever I do.
Yes, it is worth it. And who knows, maybe next year we will once again fill the calendar with events in our home.
What keeps you connected to the gifts of this season? I would love to know.