Even when you don't do things the way you would like to, they seem to become a tradition anyway. Do you have anything that is like that? For me it is this advent calendar. I purchased mine years ago at Starbucks.
Originally each drawer had a piece of chocolate in it, but honestly I don't know that there have been two years where we pulled out the same thing twice. We have pulled out scripture verses, candy, ornaments to hang on the tree, we even tried to read along with Anne Voskamp's Jesse Tree Book one year. This year I had thought about doing more of an activity advent, or even a Random Acts of Christmas Kindness advent, and yet with all my preparations, list making, and planning I didn't get anything done to go in those little boxes.
I had actually forgotten.
Youngest remembered today because tomorrow is the first day of December, and that has always been our "advent" period. He remembered the box tree where we take each one out and turn it around for a winter scene picture. He remembered the verses we read, sometimes catching up by reading more than one day at a time. And when we pulled the tree out of the closet we realized that we hadn't completed it last year. Only some of the boxes had been turned around. I felt like a failure at first, but then I realized that life happens.
I don't know why we didn't read all the scriptures last year. Maybe it was the year we tried to follow Anne Voskamp's book. Maybe we got so busy celebrating that it simply didn't get done. And so I am looking at the tree on my table and wondering how we can do it this year, and have it work. And I don't know the answer. But that's okay.
We will pull the drawers each day, and read the paper within. We will talk about things we can do to celebrate the season, and spread the good will and cheer to others. We will anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth, and the coming of his return. We will live life, and the Advent Calendar will be a part of that living.
When I started doing the advent calendar
I had hoped that it would be a special time for my family.
Somehow, amongst all the failure, and missing days, and no regular plan it has become so.
And that is where traditions come from sometimes.