Saturday, December 6, 2014

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things--Advent Edition

Advent.  Anticipation.  Traditions.  What are those things--be they memories, pictures, stories, or music--by which we mark this time of year?  Perhaps, it is a beloved recipe.  Or a cache of treasured ornaments.  Or a story that makes us smile, laugh or cry.  Maybe all at the same time.  It may not be girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes or snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes; but, here are a few of my favorite Advent things.  Just in case you wanted to know.

Every year, I re-read Jan Karon's Shepherds Abiding.  Even for those who may not know the Mitford story, this is a jewel.  The story centers around this seemingly down-trodden nativity set that arrives at the local Antique store.  Father Tim decides to take on the refurbishing of the set as a surprise gift for his lovely wife.  Tim’s labor of love sets in motion some of the best Mitford lore written yet.

Behold the Lamb of God, Andrew Peterson’s “true tall tale of the coming of Christ” is an amazing musical narrative of the prophetic arrival of the Messiah.  He takes us back to the Old Testament fathers and prophets, weaving a tale that brings us to the glory of the Savior incarnated.  Matthew’s Begats is a fun song--and great way to learn the genealogy of Christ.   My favorite song on the CD (and one of my favorite Christmas songs period) is Labor of Love

“It was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground.
You could hear a woman cry in the alleyway that night,
On the streets of David’s town...”

A little boy loses his way in a Carolina snowstorm and finds himself warming up in the cabin of a wise mountain woman.  Their conversation takes them from the Creation to the Resurrection.  One Wintry Night, written by Ruth Bell Graham, and beautifully illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson, always finds itself in my Christmas basket--or on my nightstand.

This year, we are reading through Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s God Is In The Manger for our family Advent devotionals.  Each day's reading includes a scripture passage, meditation, and a relevant excerpt from the writings of Bonhoeffer. Thus far, the reflections from Bonhoeffer himself have come from his prison letters, written during his captivity in a Nazi concentration camp.  Powerful. 

And, of course, the perfect hot cocoa recipe is a must.  Several years ago, having run out of the good ole’ Swiss Miss hot cocoa packets, I found this yummy recipe online.  My Ninja and “He-who-is-now-older-than-I” request it as soon as the temperature dips below 5o degrees which happened rather quickly this year. The secret is the dash of vanilla in the bottom of the mug.  Oops, I guess it’s not a secret anymore!

 Psst:  I'd love to hear from you--just so you know...

1 comment:

  1. We buy a single quart of eggnog - the whole-milk version. (None of that low-fat stuff, thankyouverymuch.) I make vats of party mix to share with everyone. We put the creche on the mantel just so, with Sewanee's "Lessons and Carols" CD playing in the background. And we are especially reminded of dear friends far and near as we rejoice in the advent of our Savior!