There is something about this time of year that is so completely magical. It's not just that spending inordinate amounts of time snuggled up under a blanket with a tub of Celebrations is seen as perfectly normal. Or that such culinary wonderments as mince pies and mulled wine emerge (here is my top recipe for Christmas cake too btw!), but it is also the sheer hopefulness of the season that gets me.
I've written before about how much of my own story is tied to Christmas. It was during Advent that I first explored faith for the first time and it was on Christmas eve that I prayed my first tentative prayer. It really was a time where the world felt different to me. And for that to happen when you are surrounded by glitter and tinsel and outdoor ice rinks, well, it was magical.
Over the years Advent has retained this magical feeling for me. It has remained a time where I feel renewed and hopeful. When the world is getting busy and frantic Advent for me has been a time to slow down. It has often been a time of exploration and that exploration has brought new beginnings. It has also been a time, even in difficult years, of finding (as one of my favourite bible readings says) 'that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.'
Of course Christmas is the perfect time for a crafter and this year I will be putting my new found sewing skills to use by making the dress I am going to wear to deliver the Christmas Day sermon at Church. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. To be standing up there doing the thing that I love most in the world and doing it wearing a tartan shift dress put together (however dodgily!) by me.
So this year is one special Christmas for me. I've got my Knitivity all set up to remind me every day of the reason for the season and I'm shamelessly working my way through that tub of Celebrations. And I am also sending up a prayer for all of you, my lovely blog readers and Twitter friends. May Advent bring you all you hope for and your Christmas be full of joy.