It's the first Sunday of Advent. My favourite time of year. We sang O Come, O Come Emmanual today and our organist did a gorgeous new chording on the final verse - I love the music of Advent! Some of the most beautiful carols and motets are sung from here to Christmas. Yesterday, small daughter and I found the candles for our Advent wreath, the one we make and use at home - it's surprisingly hard to find purple candles! And today the church was dressed in the glorious splendour of royal purple vestments and altar-falls, the First Candle was lit, and it was good. I was all by myself in church too: hubby is on a retreat and small daughter was at a Christmas party with her paternal grandad.
So now I'm sitting at home, enjoying the silence after being woken four times in the night and then at 7am by small daughter, with a glass of a serious new energy drink at my elbow (to help counteract the lack of sleep and the stinking headache that results from it), and contemplating getting the rest of the washing out into the sun and the lovely breeze we've got out there. Better do that soon!
The rest of the afternoon will be devoted to Christmas decorating as soon as small daughter gets home. We have a tradition in our house that our Christmas decorations go up on the First Sunday of Advent - usually because we need the Advent wreath out and it's all in the same box. Our Nativity journey begins too: Mary, Joseph and the donkey from the nativity set start in one corner of the room, the kings in another, and the shepherds and animals where it's all going to end up. Each Sunday the Holy Family move and so do the kings. It helps us visualise the journey - especially for small daughter. Lots of candles, lovely music, special prayers: it's all good. And I have to make the Christmas cake at some stage too, I guess. No pudding from big brother this year - it's a little hard to get a Christmas pudding from the UK to NZ (it's a shame as his puddings are legendary - and highly alcoholic!).