Advent Holiday Story
by Rev. Andrea Andress
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
Anticipation! Every day I opened a little window to discover the cute decoration hiding behind the numbered box was my childish delight. My family was living in Germany on the Army post and one tradition we brought back with us was the gaily colored Advent Calendar. Returning to the United States, our first Christmas was sadly lacking because we couldn’t find an Advent Calendar anywhere.
Nowadays they abound, but back in 1960, we couldn’t find one in Las Cruces, New Mexico. So that year, my mom took out her sewing machine and handcrafted a green felt calendar with 25 pockets filled with stuffed felt animals. It became a treasured tradition. We would race to see who got up first to check out the new day’s surprise and later on, little candies were also added to the pockets.
I’ve always thought of Christmas as a child’s holiday: the building excitement, trying to be extra good, the special efforts to make the house and surroundings sparkle and glitter. It all meant something important was happening. Visits with relatives you didn’t often get to see, having new ideas combined with old traditions were ways to live into a new day as one year ended and another began. When I think about memorable Christmases I fondly remember the small task of peeking into the Advent Calendar pocket and counting down how many days were left until the big day. The Journey was always a joy.
Waiting. Hope. Anticipation. In my child’s eye, these are values my family made the most of at Christmastime.
May your waiting be profitable, may hope abound and may the anticipation of what is to come remind you that God is always with you. Amen!