December. Eve of the eve of Advent

Most of my friends are putting up Christmas trees and adorning their homes with festive decorations. The photos they post and share are exquisite.

For a number of years I’ve had a different. practice. At Thanksgiving, days before the beginning of Advent, I walk down to the lake at my mother’s farm and clip blue berry laden juniper branches to take back to Houston to prepare my home for Advent.

Before Christmas arrives, I love observing Advent. The image I’ve held in my heart for years is a very pregnant Mary pondering and waiting, with hope and uncertainty held together in open hands.

Blue being the color of hope, and being the color Mary most often is depicted wearing, for the first twenty four days of December my home is full of blue.

Yesterday I clipped and arranged juniper branches gathered at Thanksgiving last week. placed them in bowls and vases, on table, buffet, and mantle throughout my temporary home in Tomball. It’s nearly Advent!

However, this year I had not gathered the branches my self. My injured ankle prevented me from walking the uneven terrain to clip the branches. Instead I remembered to ask for help. My nephew and niece and brothers lopped off limbs of brown, green, and blue for me.

This year my Advent preparations are a concrete reminder that we are invited to not wait alone. Together we hold hope and uncertainty in shared and clasped hands

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