Advent, week 4: Take time to contemplate

We decorated for Christmas last week on the first anniversary of buying our home. At this time last year, we were packing boxes in one house and frantically hammering down floors and painting walls in another. Rarely are the holidays Hallmark perfect. Congested stores, empty wallets, strained relationships, difficult family situations and unmet expectations have a way of crowding out the joy. That is why it is so important, during this third week of Advent, to take time to contemplate.