“All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
There are many ways to prepare for Christmas. By living Advent fully as a time of preparation and prayer, you can find a deeper meaning in the mystery of Christmas. My beautiful wife and her close friend give expression to that sentiment in their yearly tradition of making Advent/Christmas arrangements.
Each year my talented wife and her long-time compadre endeavor to improve their skill in creating greenery arrangements. Recently, they have found that their best work is done when they work together on a single piece. They learn from each other. Judgement, balance, symmetry, color variation, and simplicity of form, all of these can be found in their creations.
As for me, I just gather yard trash and haul the boxes and bags around. Then, I take my leave and go home and discuss philosophical questions with Mr. Monte. After a long, hard day on their feet, suffering skin abrasions and needle pricks, they call me to view the results, take pictures, and haul more bags and boxes around.
I take secret pride in their work. I know I won’t see anything like it again until this time next year. But, the pictures remind that even the boughs and berries of yard trash “have their season”.
This year, however, there was an added importance for some of the arrangements. Earlier, during the days of prayers for “All Souls”, we noticed that some graves in our parish cemetery had no headstones. At least one grave had no marker at all. So, we asked some questions; did some research; we learned about the lives of these people. Sweet and thoughtful wife vowed that, for Christmas, these people would have a sign of remembrance. That is why she and her friend made six special arrangements. Today, in the rain and cold, she placed them lovingly at each of six graves. She knew in her soul that each of those persons “have their season” and everyone deserves to be remembered.