Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Where did it go? I’m always amazed at how quickly holidays pass by. You blink and they’re gone. This one was a little different, though. Because of office closures and our regular church schedule, I ended up having four days in a row off and not a vacation day used. Strange. But having my family in town and together filled the days with laughter, joy, and deep philosophical discussions (we’re all way too smart for our own good). I had a wonderful time. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is very family-friendly. Even more, perhaps, it promotes the family by encouraging kin to gather together in thankfulness. My sisters, mother and I prepared the Thanksgiving feast Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. I prepared three portions at home (creamy mashed potatoes, a black bean and corn salad, and poorly fried green beans), my mom made the turkey, and my sisters did the rest. My dad? Well, he just chilled out. It’s his tradition. Here’s our 2011 feast. Isn’t it awesome? Mom brought out her gold-plated silverware and fine china. Special is the meal when we get to eat off such finery!
As crazy as things seem this time of year, tomorrow (Sunday) is the first Sunday of Advent — the beginning of the official Church Christmas season. There are four Sundays in the traditional Advent celebration, all leading up to Christmas Day. It’s an observance that dates back some 1700 years, back to when the Church was still young and feast days and holidays were in their infancy. In fact, early Christmas celebrations were held on two days, December 6th (feast day of St. Nicholas, “Santa Claus”) and January 6th (Epiphany, the day the magi came to Bethlehem). Now, we celebrate the holiday right in the middle.
Speaking of Advent, I hope to celebrate Advent with you once again this year via the Growing Young blog. Tomorrow I’ll post on the background of the Advent celebration and the first Sunday’s entry.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I can legitimately say for the first time in 2011 — “Merry Christmas!”