Last August, I missed the boat by failing to prepare the Christmas Pudding. Again. See, I was informed by my Christmas Pudding Teacher that to do it properly, you really need to have the thing put together and resting comfortably in the deep freeze by the end of summer, or there's no point bothering. I use this wisdom as an excuse, annually, to neglect making the Christmas Pudding. To those of you who are better-organized, Shut it. No one likes a braggart.

However, since the pudding mold was lying fallow (again), today I seized the opportunity to press it into a different kind of service:

This year, I made it into an Advent wreath. By adding a couple of pounds of dry beans, four candles, and some filched greenery, I have redeemed myself in time for Christmas.

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, and I'm reminding you in time to do the same. Any four candles will do, and stealing evergreen fronds in the name of Jesus is its own kind of religious observance; try it and see if you don't agree.

Light the first candle tonight, and read a few lines of scripture. Here's a place to start if you need help: Advent Devotions

If you're feeling wiped out after the hubbub of Thanksgiving, or twitching under the pressure of all those shopping incentives, try a little reflection on the reason for the season. It always renews my feelings of hope. 

God Bless us, Every One.