our simple Advent wreath
We have entered my favorite season of the year...Advent and Christmas. It's a time of waiting, of hopeful anticipation of Our Saviors birth. It is a time of preparation and prayer.

I have a very small home with about 900 sq ft of living space so any Christmas decorations I use need to have deep personal meaning because there is only so much decorating space. I look forward to the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year as my husband climbs into the attic to retrieve our treasures. They each tell a story of faith, family and tradition. They all help our family in the Practice of Christmas. 

There is the simple Advent wreath on the kitchen table made from fake greenery since both my boys are highly allergic to pine and evergreens. The colors of purple and pink wrap themselves around the candles in the same colors. Mary stands in the middle holding her child among the candles reminding my family that Jesus is the Light of the World.

the angels "float" from the staircase now that there
are no little ones to help make them "fly".
The banister is decorated with a series of angels that arrived once a month for the first year of Courtney's life when we weren't sure if she would make it to her first Christmas. They remind me of a time of such intense longing for God to make her well, to heal my little girl. He has done that over the years time and time again. Maybe not in the way I thought it would be but in His way which in the end needs to be my way. They are delicate like my daughter but also have a strength and a weight to them. They are sweet and innocent and remind me that here was a time when we thought we would not have our girl, so we rejoice that  for the past 18 Christmas's her stocking has hung next to her brothers. We are blessed indeed.

sweet and innocent
The stockings were cross-stitched by my sister-in-law several years. They are stunningly beautiful and speak volumes about each person in this home. Courtney's is an angel that is blowing a horn calling our attention to the reason for the season. Jonathan is a series of toy soldiers standing fast protecting the strong hold. Jerry's is a picture of a study complete with a roaring fire. One day I pray that God answers my husbands desire for a fireplace in our home. It would be a most wonderful gift. Mine is a sewing room filled with so many projects to love. I cherish these pieces because they were made with love. So many hours, so many stitches!

I wish my sewing room was this neat!
Then there are the carolers. These belonged to my parents and were one of my father's favorite things to set up at Christmas time. Everyone in my family played a musical instrument growing up. There were snare drums for my older brother, the flute for me, the tuba, clarinet, trumpet and trombone for my younger siblings. When we would practice in grade school my mother would stuff cotton on her ears. Oy the racket! I much preferred choir and actually sang a solo once. A proud day indeed.

a few of my favorites
These carolers remind me of those times. My husband has added to the collection over the years. I enjoy opening that box on Christmas morning to find a beautiful treasure awaiting me. Each one tells it's own story. There is "The Captain" who stands next to the woman holding a tray of goodies freshly baked. My husband says that's us. I just wish I looked that good in plaid!

All of these things help my family put our minds and hearts on the day when a baby is born. The one who came to save us all! So we wait and we bake...because in four weeks the most important visitor is arriving at out inn and we must make haste to greet Him.

A Blessed Advent to you all,