Christmas Horse I’m feeling Christmas-y a little earlier than usual this year. Some years I’m deep into December before I manage to muster up any cheer, and then it feels a little put on. This year I’m there a bit early, I expect largely due to having started diving into Advent readings and meditations in mid-November this year in order to produce the book that hits the topics that we’ll be Advent Blogging and sets the themes into Daily Office prayers for the season. So we were at the library on Saturday and I checked out a few CDs, including some Christmas music. Interesting world-type Christmas selections, but they don’t match up to my Celtic Christmas CDs from years past. The Celtic Women were singing Christmasy tunes on PBS last night as well.

We’re not the kind of people that ends up with a mass of Christmas cards strung up all over each year, but we did receive our first Christmas card of the season today. My wife dropped the envelope in my lap on her way to the kitchen, not having opened it yet. It felt a little thick, but not all over — like one of those fancy cards with bits of something-or-other glued on them. I pried open the sealed envelope and called back to my wife, “Uh, you know there’s $200 cash in here?” That’ll help you find the Christmas spirit all right. Practically speaking, the missing income for the shifts my wife lost after hurting her hand have now been replaced. We’ve been praying daily together, “Lord, You have always given bread for the coming day; and though I am poor, today I believe.” We’ll be sure to mention it as God’s provision to the kids, one of whom has her little heart set on new winter boots.

Speaking of kids and Advent, I think there’s a group of folk who are particularly interested in what others are doing with their kids for Advent… I’m hoping we’ll be able to highlight a few of those through our Advent blogging project. You know, so we have better or more fulfilling ideas to share with each other than Larry’s Christmas Countdown (as fun as that is). Our kids are getting the Christmas bug too — they borrowed the duct tape to fix a pair of reindeer antlers that clamp on your head, and one of them was wearing them this evening. With bells on. Not pictured above, in case you were wondering.

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So To help keep track of the Advent blogging project, I’ve created a little widget that anyone can paste into their blogs (or wherever) and have a stream of posts from this Johannine Advent blog project… it’s displayed on the right (hopefully it shows up in RSS readers as well). Visit the Advent blog page if you want to add it to your blog for the season. I’ll have to update it manually, but it’s only for a few weeks ;^) and it’ll help some of the participants keep the link-love flowing. If the corners aren’t rounded, you need to view it in Firefox… it’s purtier. Anyway, 16 participants so far — a good group which should be fun. Some people have already started with pre-Advent thoughts, too.

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