Almost one week into Advent...time for self-flagellation! No, not for spiritual mortification--but to atone for the List of Things I Swore Solemnly Would Be Done At the Beginning of Advent This Year (For Once):
10. Christmas card designed and executed--perhaps during the leisurely (ha!) days of autumn.
9. Catalog orders for presents done--easy, just a few computer keystrokes, right?
8. Long-keeping cookies baked and shipped to far-flung cousins and aunties.
7. All spring bulbs planted.
6. All plants bought at Botanic Garden's spring plant sale planted, not still sitting in pots.
5. Downstairs hallway nicely painted as glorious backdrop for Christmas decorations.
4. Various photography projects for friends and family executed and ordered and received.
3. Nice Christmas potpourri made, aged (yes it has to age), and sewn into adorable little pillows for stocking-stuffers.
2. Christmas table linens out of storage.
And the one thing that was absolutely going to happen on the first Sunday of Advent and still isn't done:
1. Get out the Advent wreath, put it on the kitchen table, and actually say an Advent prayer while lighting it every night!
I swear, John the Baptist could be standing in our front hallway, wild-eyed and camelhair-clad, howling about the imminent appearance of the Savior, and I would manage to say, in my best Pee-Wee Herman voice, "Blah-blah-blah...I can't heeeeeear you!" Okay...how about two out of 10, and they're done by the Second Sunday of Advent?
Step softly, under snow or rain,
To find the place where men can pray;
The way is all so very plain
That we may lose the way.
--The Wise Men, G.K. Chesterton
Image: St. John the Baptist, Anton Raphael Mengs