Sunday, December 2, 2012

Getting ready

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which means we have just a little more than three weeks left until Christmas.

Usually, the First Sunday in Advent is the last Sunday in November. I'm not quite sure why it's waited to fall on the first Sunday of December this year, but if I was industrious enough to find out, I might learn that that extra 29th day back in February might have something to do with it: ah, yes. Leap Year.

Leap Year might also go a long way to explain why there are five Sundays this month as well as five Saturdays. But maybe not. I don't know. That calendarian Julius Caesar is long gone, no doubt buried under all those centuries of 29-day Februarys.

My Moravian star and flag announce the Advent season.
Anyway, it's now the Advent season. The First Sunday usually is my signal to get started decorating the house, and this happens in spurts and fits. Most of our decorations are hidden away deep in the back corner of a walk-in closet upstairs. That means climbing steps. Then it means groping through a forest of old clothes and winter jackets while tripping over bags of storage on the floor to get to the Christmas candles and artificial wreaths bagged on a back shelf.

And you don't want to step on a bag. If you do, and you hear a sound like Styrofoam crunching under your heels, well, it's probably best to tell the wife right off what happened so as not to spoil the rest of December for either of you. I'd probably feel so bad I don't even think I could look inside the bag to see what crunched.

My closet strategy is to keep the the stuff I use most often near the front for easy access. But somehow, during the course of the year, stuff migrates. I don't know how this happens. Consequently, it took me 20 minutes to locate my bag of candles, which I thought were up front but turned out to be near the back of the closet, underneath a bunch of other stuff. It took me less than 10 minutes to put the candles in four windows after I found them. Sheesh.

I also hung my Moravian star. This requires converting my front porch light into a receptacle for the star, which in itself is not difficult. Unless you're me. I have to climb a two-step ladder to get to the light, which does not lend itself to a stable sense of security as you might think. Plus, the star itself is not particularly easy to handle what with all those plastic points jutting out everywhere.

Making matters somewhat difficult is the fact that my star is about 10 years old now. Some of the plastic rivets holding the points together have become brittle and have broken off, or are about to, so now I handle the star with extra care. I halfway expect to see star debris on my porch one morning.

I also noticed that after I hung my star and turned on the switch, the light momentarily flickered. Uh-oh. My star has given me good service over the years, but it's time may be near. Look at it this way: I keep my star lit through all of December. That's 31 days. Now figure I've done this for 10 or 11 years, and you suddenly realize I've had it lit every day for a full year. Can I get another season out of it? We'll see.

I also hung my oversized Moravian Love Feast flag, which features a mug of coffee, a Love Feast bun and an iconic Moravian candle with curled ribbon at the base. It's a great flag.

I haven't hung the wreaths yet. That's a combined project with the wife, and we'll probably tackle that one in the next week or so.

At least I know where they are in the closet.

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