In years past, I never really gave much thought to Advent, other than thinking about those nifty little calendars where you received a chocolate each day. Advent was just another word for counting down, like the big crystal ball slowly descending in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
And then I became Catholic.
Advent is so much more than little calendar doors that open to chocolates. It's overwhelming. Jesse Trees and O Antiphons - what are all these things I've never heard of? It makes you worry, Am I doing Christmas right?
I bought an Advent wreath last year during RCIA, a lovely reusable ceramic piece, as I'm allergic to pine. But last Christmas, I was still in the Why is the priest wearing pink? stage of things and I didn't go any further than that. This year, I'm trying to learn more, not just to alleviate any worries about celebrating the "right" way, but also to enhance my enjoyment of the season.
One thing I'm trying this year is to really follow through with a daily devotion. Much as I try and keep up, that personal time often is pushed out by other matters. This Advent, I hope to follow through and share with you my little thoughts each day. I hope you all will join me in contemplating Mary and her role at Christmas this year. Starting tomorrow, I will be posting each day a small thought about Mary as she awaited the birth of Christ. Hopefully, you all find as much inspiration from the readings as I do.