I took my own advice and hosted an Advent dinner last Saturday night. It was extra special: I actually had my friends help me decorate my tree (with seven people, that doesn't take long!) and we lit the Advent candles. I also found a couple of lovely prayers, one for blessing the tree and one simply for welcoming Advent. Then we had a delicious pot roast dinner and talked all night. It was so nice!
What I loved about that evening was how simple it was, but also how centered it was around celebrating the Advent celebration, which elevated the whole evening and gave it real meaning. I had two of my friends read the prayers out loud for everyone at the beginning of the evening, and it set a tone for the rest of the night. I am grateful for the fact that I have friends and people I can do this sort of meaningful stuff with - it's much more fun (and powerful) to pray with others. And it makes me feel grounded.
The prayers came from the December Give Us This Day, which I am reading daily as part of my Advent journey. I do find that it, and the other little things I am doing (like the Pray More Novenas retreat) are genuinely helping me to stay focused and look inward. There is definitely a change in my daily outlook - more hopeful, maybe? Peaceful?
How is your Advent going?