Then on the second Sunday of Advent, we put lights on and talked about how Jesus became the light of a dark world. Also, our three year old started the joke of the season. Every time he saw the star on top of the tree he would giggle and say, "Look, the star of Knapford (a Thomas the Train thing)." To which his father would reply (with a growing bit of exasperation), "No, that's the star of Bethlehem." Laine would giggle and the argument would continue. (Today we put away the star of Knapford and that little imp actually said it just to bug his dad)
On the third week of Advent we added the ornaments to help us remember the love of our family.
And on the fourth Sunday of Advent we recounted the story of the nativity and prepared our hearts for the coming of Christ.
Today we wrestled the tree out of the house. It was dry and made such a mess our three year old felt compelled to immediately begin vacuuming, but it bravely did its job. It focused our hearts on the journey of Advent. It helped tell the story of the nativity--our story.
Each year as we tug those brittle frames out the door, I feel a little sad. I know it can't always be Christmas, but the next few months are hard. I am not looking forward to the introspection of Lent, the rending of Holy Week or the devastation of Good Friday. Our little tree was ugly and messy and didn't even smell good, but it bravely led us through our story once again. The story that began with the most unlikely of kings and ends with tragedy. We have to face ourselves in the coming days, but we can look back to the pageantry of the nativity and the promise of the star (of Knapford *giggle*) and remember that there is an unexpected post script to this story.
And, PS, that is why we tell it...