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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Suffering in Advent and on Christmas Eve

This is my favourite time of year--Advent and Christmas.

Starting in the 1970s, I became Ms. Christmas, making Advent wreaths, Christmas tree ornaments (yearly), decorating the house and preparing in the real Advent sort of way with the celebration of fasting like the Byzantines. We celebrated St. Nicholas day, St. Lucy's Day, and made and ate lots of perogies and borsch over the years. We did the Jesse Tree and baked cookies and hid them in high

I miss this. I had a mini-business making wreaths, center pieces, door hangings, etc. for a short time. It was easy for me and the kitchen was stuffed with bits and bobs of ribbon, greenery and glue guns. I only made what I spent, but it was great fun.

After my son went left for England in 2010, I had my last tree, which I have mentioned on this blog-pink retro with gold ornaments, many of which I made.

No more. Now my Christmas is more like the original one, which is good, but it is a suffering. However, there is a quiet joy in joining with Christ in His isolation and Mary and Joseph's ostracization from their own people on that Holy Night.

What would you rather have? That is what God asked me. If asked, would you not want to experience what He did? If we really love someone, we want to be with them and be like them. Simple. Hard, and it is called dying to self.

In the image of the Crib, we should see the Crucifixion. This is not morbidity but reality. There is only one reason why Christ came to earth on that cold night-to experience the Passion and to die for us and rise again on the third day.

In the old days, the Feast of Adam and Eve was on December 24th. One of the prayers was the same as that of Holy Week-O Felix Culpa, O Necessary Sin of Adam. I wish these connections had not disappeared. That is why, of course, we have apples on the tree, or pears. I had a fruit tree now and then, and incorporated the theme of the Fall into the tree decorations.

We are body and soul, but there comes a time when the inner man must take precedence over the outer man. Do not get so involved with the outer than you forget the inner.