Today I feel like I should start to get ready for Christmas. There's been some talk around the house about Christmas plans, and I know that some little things have been tucked away in secret corners for the Day. We've got the Advent candles on the dining table, and we've been praying the Advent prayers before meals. Advent calendars have been raided each morning for their chocolate treasures, and daily readings have been replete with messages to prepare the way, make straight the path and so on.
With all of that, I still haven't been feeling remotely Christmas-minded. Part of me is tucked away in a quiet place, because I don't want to do this without my dad. But today something happened which poked at and awakened the Christmas spirit: it snowed. Is snowing, actually. I have to squinch up my eyes to see the snowflakes, and they're far too few and fragile to even make it to the ground, but nonetheless, snowflakes they are. Outside my window.
Now I'm longing for boughs redolent with the aroma of winter woods. I want clusters of red berries to display in clear glass vases. I'd like to hang twinkly lights in front of the windows, and dangle victorian icicles in the tree outside. It's time to ponder Christmas baking. More importantly, I need to really devote some time to examining my spiritual state in order to be able to really enter into Christmas fully prepared to receive the Christ Child.
All of this led me to think about people who live in the Outback, or Monte Carlo or...wherever else the weather doesn't really change from season to season. Falling snow is a cue to deck the halls for us in the Land of the Big White; how do they switch over emotionally from ordinary time to 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord'? Is it the incoming flocks of Canadian geese? The blossoming of an indiginous winter-only flower? I'd like to know.