J.C. Coon: Waiting

Advent season is upon us.

Advent means coming or arrival. It is a time when Christians await the arrival of the birth of Jesus the Christ and is traditionally celebrated during the four weeks that proceed Christmas.

When raising my girls, the four weeks before Christmas would feel like a lifetime to them. So I delighted in having a “little bit of Christmas” each week.

It helped the waiting time.

On each of the four Sundays prior to Christmas, as we lit our traditional Advent candle, I would give my girls a small gift.  Usually they were holiday related gifts; Christmas socks, Christmas earrings, Christmas shirts, etc.

It helped the waiting time.

We also tried to plan ahead to have an event to do each week.  Our church was full of events; special Christmas concerts, practicing for the Christmas Eve pageant, gathering and filling food baskets for the needy, shopping for the angel tree. This was a time when the girls could shop, purchase and wrap a gift for a complete stranger, driving around town looking at the vast array of Christmas lights; deciding which Nutcracker Suite to watch.

It helped the waiting time.

Today I pulled out a book – all it was in the beginning, was a black and white composition book purchased at a local grocery store.  Today that book is full of memories of Christmas past, twenty six to be exact.  Now it is decorated with Christmas fabric and lace and overflowing with memories.  Actually like the Christmas Season now it has morphed into memories of Thanksgivings and New Years too.

This simple black and white composition book is now, in my mind, a treasured memory.  It reminds me whose house and family that we spent the holidays with, what foods we cooked, baked and ate.  It brings to mind special events we attended, gifts we gave and received.  The “received list” was important, as it was the list used to sit down and write thank you notes from.

Remember “Thank You notes”?  A lost art.  One we should bring back.

Writing thank you notes is also a time a reflection, like Advent.  Thank you notes help the receiver of the gift to pause and take the time to reflect upon the gift received, the giver of the gift and a time to be grateful that someone took the time to think of you.

Hmmm… Is there a parallel here somewhere?

It’s the simple things that make the best memories.  I hope that I can inspire you to stop by your local grocery store and pick up a simple black and while composition book.  Just start writing your thoughts of the season in it; what recipes you are cooking, where you are going, where you want to go, who you want to share the joy of the season with.  It’s the simple things that we remember.

It will help the waiting time.