This is one of my favorite times of year. Something about pulling out the decorations makes me giddy. A few days ago, I set up our small fake tree and, with the radio playing 24 hours of Christmas music, I put up all of our ornaments. Of course I had to test the lights and take pictures (which I will try to post soon). I hung our stockings (a wonderful knitter gave us homemade stockings for our wedding, which I LOVE) and set up our creches. But perhaps my most treasured Christmas decoration is our Advent calendar.

I don’t know if you have incorporated this into your own traditions, but I remember this being one of my favorite things growing up. Today it still is and I am so happy to have inherited one of my family’s calendars. Our calendar has a small written paragraph that goes along with each door opened. Behind each door is a picture. Day 1 is one of my favorites. The #1 door is on a picture of a milestone. You open the door and one word is written: Bethlehem. This is where it all began. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This was a momentous milestone in our heritage.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:4-7