My personality is well suited to seasons of preparation. Therefore I've always been more drawn to Advent than Christmas. Annually, I traditionally purchase a book about or for Advent. This year I picked up The Season of the Nativity: Confession and Practices of an Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Extremist and quickly suspected I would like it when the author Sybil MacBeth confessed it took a long time for her to learn to enjoy Christmas. This resonated with me and I now especially see the twelve days of Christmas in a new light. I've always been intrigued by how to mark this time but have found it challenging given that society celebrates Christmas day and then swiftly moves into after Christmas mall sales and signing up everyone for exercise classes for their New Year's resolutions. The author has given me enough encouragement that I suspect I will do better than that this go around.
What I appreciated most about this book is that there is something for everyone from the new Christian learning what the church year calendar is all about to someone that has been following a liturgical cycle for decades. In fact MacBeth points out that because we are continuously evolving that's exactly why we can year after year relive and learn anew from the stories of our faith. Amen!
Lastly, I think it's splendid that there is attention given to Epiphany. Growing up all I knew was to put a bean in the cake and the one that ended up with that piece won. Remembering those that first worshiped Jesus deserves to be more than this.
So now I prepare for the season of preparation and look forward to some new additions to my rhythm and routine of the days in Advent. How will you mark these days?