While we are in the midst of the advent season, I just want to encourage you to light a candle. When the days go by so quickly that you can't even grasp them in your hands, candles cause us to pause. When our to-do lists seem unmanageably long, candles give us a moment to reflect.
Advent candles have long been a tradition in the Christian church. They help us tell the story of the Birth of Christ. As Christmas draws near, the increasing candle light reminds us of the star that shown over Bethlehem. Our anticipation swells with each additional candle lit.
While typically placed in a round wreath, I like to change our candles a little every year to keep them relevant with our lives. This year I took apple red pillar candles and put them in vases from the dollar store. I wrapped them with green raffia and clipped some chalkboard tags (from Target's dollar section) on each. I labeled four of them for each of the four Sundays in advent and marked the middle one for Christmas Day. (FYI, lighting the fifth one on Christmas Eve is ok, too!)
So pause. Light a candle. Reflect on the manger. The shepherds didn't have seven kinds of Christmas cookies. The wise men didn't have coordinating wrapping paper. But the night was holy, full of calm and peace.