I know. People get really bent out of shape about Christmas. For many people, it means stress and family engagement issues and money for presents and rushing around and potentially bad weather. I get it. HOWEVER…..I really adore Christmas. I am very nostalgic. I have an entire mental treasure chest of beautiful Christmas memories from my childhood. I’m not sure that anyone wants to hear about all of them. So instead, I wanted to share my next square in the Aran Island project: the Advent/Christmas square.
The red and green are obviously for Christmas. The white is for snow, although here in southeastern Pennsylvania, we usually get more snow starting in January. Lastly, however, is the blue and purple for the Advent season. In the traditional liturgical church year, the altar paraments change color according to the season. (That’s the church season, not the weather.) This still occurs in the Catholic Church, as far as I know, and definitely still occurs in the Lutheran church, which is the sect where I hang my theological hat. Anyway, the color of Advent used to be purple, but many churches have now changed to blue. Whatever: I’ve decided to represent both, particularly because purple is my favorite color. I also chose these two yarns because they remind me of the cloth with which Augsburg Fortress Ecclesiastical Arts used to make their altar cloths. Wow: that’s a mouthful! And yes, I used to sell church supplies for the Ecclesiastical Arts department of the Lutheran Augsburg Fortress publishing house. This department, located in Philadelphia, has sadly since gone out of business. Anyway, the blue yarn has silver sparkles and the purple yarn has gold flecks.
On to Advent: what does Advent mean to me? For me, Advent is integral to Christmas and holds just as much weight as Christmas. Advent marks the season of contemplation and waiting in awe for the miracle of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, the Christ. Before I lose you because you think I’m going to go on an evangelical tangent, I am just going to say that I will keep it as brief as possible. For me, the story of a miraculous man that has changed the entire world and millions of people being born to peasants in a plain, non-spectacular place is inspirational. My faith is bolstered when I think about the passage about how the “wisdom of God is foolishness” in earthly terms, because the Christmas nativity is all about how God, this huge, inconceivable, uncontainable force, is frail and vulnerable and housed in the most unlikely of places: a newborn baby in a manger. It’s the same reason I love the Biblical passages about mustard seeds. Mustard seeds are these extremely tiny things. So, to know that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains: well, that’s really all you need to experience when it comes to faith. Between the political and theological differences of people, there exists love, faith, and daily decisions we make every day.
So that’s a mini-version of my exposition of what Christmas and Advent mean to me.
I completed another crochet project, but I can’t put the pictures up since the person who is going to receive it as a present reads this blog. However, I will put up a picture of another project I finished today. I call it Chocolate and Strawberries. I’m giving it to a specific person so that they can imagine having chocolate and strawberries whenever they’re stressed out….except they will just have a nice table topper instead of the actual food, I guess. hahaha
EDIT UPDATE 11/23/16:
I decided that my strawberry looked too much like it wanted to be a chocolate chip cookie, so I ripped it off and made a new one. I’m sure the person receiving this present won’t mind exactly how the strawberry looks, but I wanted it to be finished the way I imagined it.
ANOTHER update: I finished this today. It turned out to be so big that I’m going to call it my “Reindeer Crossing” sign. I’m giving it to Dad at his request to hang on his board at work.
Lastly, I made this snowflake because I loved the colors and the way the yarns intertwine. I used the “Blizzard Warning” pattern from Polly Plum at everytrickonthehook.com. I have already given this away as a small present to a friend.
So, I hope everyone has a little bit of yarn therapy, or something like it, to keep them sane this holiday season. I hope you also have ways to make this holiday special for you!