First Sunday leading up to Christmas. I like the word advent. It makes me think of anticipation flavoured with a hint of adventure and excitement. Of course, that always depends on what you are waiting for. Whether there is a spiritual aspect to this countdown or not, I guess that the holidays are per se most welcome.
Some people will of course be even more relieved once the festive season is finally over. What I also know for a fact is that December tends to come as a surprise, like a guest who arrives half an hour early while you are still cleaning up your kitchen mess before heading for the shower. It is a mystery how October suddenly materialises into December: a quantum leap repeated year after year.
Thinking of how empty January is comparatively, I don’t understand why we still insist on celebrating Christmas on the twelfth month of the year.
On the morning of the last day of November I decided to take it easy. Meaning I got up and started baking…
I rewarded myself with late breakfast and the fragrant smell and delicate taste of a saffron focaccia.
As I do not intend to spend energy and money on commercial extravaganzas including presents, I thought that I might as well opt for creating some nice atmosphere conducive to relaxation, joy and inner peace.
I have to accept the fact that this annual exercise of anticipation always finds me unprepared; even so, I can still try to savour the fleeing moments.
This advent is also a time for remembering. My grandparents are very present in my thoughts. I am thinking that at this time of the year, my grandmother would put up her Christmas curtains and my grandfather would carefully unwrap the advent star and candle-holders to deck the window sills. I have probably only celebrated advent with them a couple of times, if any, but I can very much imagine how they would set everything up with true respect for domestic cosiness and tradition.
My curtains are beige and I have no advent star, not yet in any case. But my little home smells of saffron and I have some beloved people with me in spirit. If they were here I would give them a big and long hug; the kind of embrace that you really look forward to giving, counting down til that moment when your arms become a cradle of warmth, a universe filled with love.