The First Light of Advent…Remaining Hopeful

 The first light of Advent,
It is the light of Stones,
Stones that live in crystals,
Seashells and our bones.
 In Waldorf Education the first light of Advent represents stones. A pretty way to recognize this at home is to decorate your advent wreath with small gems, pebbles, shells, crystals or even a photo or sample of your child’s birthstone. For wonderful ways to celebrate the beautiful time of Advent and the festival of St. Nicholas Day, be sure to check out our e-book.

Today we attended a beautiful tradition at our church and made homemade advent wreaths with other parishioners. It is an event that I wanted to attend in previous years but our schedules never allowed. I am go glad we made the decision as a family to stay at this church. Recently I considered going back to the religion of my childhood, but after beginning the transition it became very clear that what we were searching for was already right where we were. Church for us should  be a second home, a place to connect to God, a place to feel connected to our community but MOST of all, a place that welcomes us and others with open arms no matter where we are on our paths. Just as we believe Jesus does.
Our days have been full of preparing for the holiday season. It’s been a time of family and warmth and I’m grateful that the holidays can pull us together like this. I was also grateful that my oldest daughter was home from college and could be a part of all of our family time.
We made paper snowflakes (nowadays they have cool templates online to make it easier!)
 We decorated our tree and I made the girls take the obligatory ‘decorating the tree together’ photo (don’t they look so natural?)
We put up our Christmas Village. My mother-in-law gave me each and every piece to this amazing village. It takes a full afternoon to get just right but it’s really worth it and the girls love it so much. They look forward to finding each familiar piece and helping me to decide how our North Pole Village should look.
They each decorated their rooms with leftover Christmas lights and their own special little tree.
And we helped one another decorate the outside of the house. Their dad did most of the work to be fair. It really looks beautiful and took all weekend to get done. 
As we have been taught, the first week of Advent is for HOPE. 
So, as we blow out our first advent candle this evening, I make a wish that all of us remain hopeful.  Hopeful for ourselves.  Hopeful for our loved ones.  And most of all, hopeful for our world.

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