During Advent, as I kindle the wreath candles that mark the journey to the Bethlehem stable, I return to particular writers that I love and certain music that I can't seem to get through the seasons without. I have Advent habits.
For instance, I often re-read W.H. Auden's For the Time Being. In one portion King Herod weighs the threat to publiic order posed by the birth of the Christ child. Is the collatoral damage of murdering the male children justified in order to maintain [...]
A few years ago I remember a pastor friend telling me they tried something a little different for their Christmas services. Instead of the usual holiday décor and clutter of the sanctuary, they brought in a bunch of manure and hay and scattered it under the pews so the place would really smell like the stank manger where it all began. I remember laughing hysterically as he described everyone coming [...]
As a child I found no joy in an Advent calendar; all those little flaps and doors and bite-size pieces of chocolate signified nothing more than the fact that Christmas was still a really, really long time away. Especially as I got down to the last few doors, just a few days before the big event, time seemed to take on a pace as slow as molasses sucked through a straw. Admittedly, the coming of the [...]