Today I read Auntie Leila's post on Advent, and I'm feeling a bit more peaceful now. Because you know what? As usual, she's right. ;)
The simple act of lighting a candle in the home, if done peacefully and attentively, can open the door to wonder. Wonder is at the heart of Advent.I don't need to have a perfect advent craft or activity planned for every single day. What I do need to do is be mindful of the season myself, and then offer the basic reminders to my children as well. So we light the candles at dinner. We pray and we sing advent hymns. We read books about Jesus and St. Nicholas during our morning story time. We unwrap our creche with care and set the animals in their stable. Perhaps we bake cookies.
We can get frazzled and feel that we're not doing enough, that our children don't understand enough. Really, their understanding will grow with each year that they experience the same beautiful, simple rituals at home and at Church. . . . What I think the children tire of, eventually, is our jangling attempts to elicit some response from them, which, in the end, comes to this: That we seek affirmation from them. When really, we should confidently offer them what we know to be good, and trust that the good will be accomplished.
And that really is enough. I don't have to *make* Advent special; it already is. I just need to point the way toward Jesus in terms and symbols that little boys can start to understand.