Yesterday I wrote about Advent in a monastery. I had one of those. But, hubby and I have had many more advents with a houseful of wee ones. The memories make us smile now. At the time we questioned our efforts at being a model, Catholic family. It was a struggle, as it is today, to compete with the early onslaught of Christmas.
But, all our friends have their Christmas trees up! Why do we have to wait? Moan, groan. Being a Catholic sucks!
We usually tried to hold out until the 4th Sunday of Advent; or the third, depending on the calendar.
Our evening meals began with an Advent prayer and lighting the Advent candles. Catholics love the earthiness of hands-on signs and symbols, and the Advent wreath is one of my favorites. The rich greenness. The circle of eternity. The three purple candles with a pink one for Gaudete Sunday,signifying joy. The white candle in the center for Christmas. It was a perfect teachable moment for family prayer time.
The children were eager to participate. Everyone wanted to light the candles. And, everyone wanted to blow them out. And that`s where the fun began…
Our peacefully watching and waiting dinner table turned into a chaotic struggle. Our mini pyromaniacs reached for matches and leaned over the lit wreath. Wax flew as candles were blown out by a helpful sib as soon as they were lit. Of course we had a schedule, but it did not guarantee a smooth process.
But, why does he get to light two candles when I only got to light one? It`s not fairrrrrr!!!
But, I WANT to light the pink one now!
Shush and sit down. We`re trying to pray!
Ah, those were the days. Hubby and I still have wishful moments of going back to the chaos of raising five children. Happily, this year we are blessed with the first of many (we hope!) grand-children to join us at our table. Here`s to keeping traditions alive!