After Thanksgiving, reeling from our family gatherings, charity work, large meals, and return trips home, we resume our regularly scheduled tasks for a few weeks until December.
The first week of Advent arrives and we dress our front doors with purple or royal blue ribboned wreaths, get the Advent candles out, and begin the process of preparing/waiting/embracing life for the next few weeks. Prayers at mealtime accompany the lighting of the Advent candles for the week each night and a door is opened on the Advent calendar to reveal a picture of a symbol of Christmastide and Christ's gift to the world.
As Christmas eve approaches, we begin to make purchases of a few simple gifts to loved ones in response to Christ's gift to us Christmas day. These gifts are tokens of our affection to the receiver, like baked goodies, homemade items, useful store-bought things for them to enjoy. No lists were made, no dollar amount pre-determined, no "big gift and little gift" decisions, just from the heart choices.
Simple decorations are put out like the stable and animals, evergreen, poinsettias, and holy family pictures. A tree is purchased a few days before Christmas eve and decorated with lights and garland.
Am I crazy?