In churches all over the world, Christ's coming is anticipated on the four Sundays of Advent (ad'vent) n. [< L. ad, to + venire, come]. In Sweden we have special Advent candle holders for four candles, one for each of these Sundays. For me as a child, anticipation began when the first candle was lit on that first Sunday. My family was not religious in a church-going sense, but we celebrated the birth of Christ and it was both a joyous and a serious time. The spirit of Christmas arrived at our house with that first candle and in the coming weeks we were getting ready for our celebrations on Christmas Eve.
The Advent Calendar, with all its little windows to be opened one for each day leading up to Christmas, was part of the excitement. In Sweden, it is also a custom to hang a golden star, made of paper with tiny holes and with a light bulb inside, in a window on the first Sunday in Advent. Stockholm in December is a dark place with few hours of daylight and I remember how lovely it was to see all the stars shining bright in the windows of the city.
I'm glad those of you who read about my childhood Christmases in Sweden were happy to have me post them again. Last year, there were four very long posts, plus some Tuesday's Treasure posts as well. So I have a lot of material that I can split up and, hopefully, entertain you with. I am very busy with some things that have nothing to do with Christmas, but rather to do with paperwork. Two more trips to Bakersfield -- one for a lab appointment and then a dental appointment in town. All I want to do is stay HOME!!! But I am trying to take it all in stride, just sort of resenting all this going on when Christmas is coming.
Soldier is doing really well. He has been off all medicine for a while now. My vet has been on vacation but will be back this week so I can discuss what's next. Soldier is probably back to having his original back and hip problems that do not seem to hurt him, but make him walk funny. The injury he sustained when Samson threw him in a hole (boy that sounds terrible, but it is what happened) seems to have healed. He is as happy, lively, whiny, and excitable as ever.