Note: Today we have a special guest blogger. Mari wrote this essay for a school assignment and it really expresses what Christmas means to us. She gave me permission to post it here. In fact she asked if she could write something else for the blog in the future. I love my kid!
We wish everyone the happiest of holidays! Hope you are spending it with someone you love!
The Advent Prayer
Mari’s Blog Entry
Oh God,Our Loving Father,
Help us Rightly to Remember
The Birth of Jesus…
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is celebrating Advent. Every week, we light another candle, and I love seeing the last one lit on Christmas Eve. A tradition of my family is reading a prayer about Christmas. We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. I’m usually the one who reads it, although sometimes my dad recites it from memory. I love the way the words seem to be accented by the burning candles; it makes the holidays seem more exciting to me. I can’t think about December without remembering the wreath and the prayer. It’s just part of the season for my family.
My dad’s parents were the ones who started the tradition. They did it for the same reason we do – to remember the true meaning of Christmas. My grandmother cut it out of a magazine. After years of being used, though, it fell apart. My grandparents asked my dad to design a new copy. He printed out two – one for them, and one for us, because he wanted to continue the tradition.
So now, every December, when we put out all the Christmas decorations – lights, evergreen boughs, Nativity sets, and Nighttime, our brand-new 48-inch light-up reindeer, we put the Advent wreath on the dining room table and place the prayer beneath it. When evening comes, we light the candles while I read the poem. I can’t help but smile as I come to my favorite line: “Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.” Looking at the dancing flame of the candles, the lit Christmas tree in the living room, and the stockings hanging dutifully from the mantle, I remember the reason we celebrate in the last month of the year, and feel a burst of excitement as I think about the approaching holiday.
May The Christmas Morning Make Us Happy To Be Thy Children…
And The Christmas Evening Bring Us
To Our Beds With Grateful Thoughts…
Forgiving And Forgiven
For Jesus’ Sake.