Advent has always been a really special time for me. I have great childhood memories of growing up and having special traditions during Advent. Advent is the time of preparation and and expectant waiting for the celebration of the nativity of Christ. Sometimes it gets kind of lost in the whole “celebration” of the holiday. We are supposed to be preparing for Christ–not preparing for all the commercialism. I get lost in it all. I will be the first to admit that. It is not hard. I’ve got the Fab sales, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday thing going at times. I don’t think that there is really anything wrong with it as long as the real focus does not get lost.
This is the first Sunday of Advent–the candle of Hope is lit today. Hope can embody many things. According to Wikipedia hope is
Hope is the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. It is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “look[ing] forward to with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feel[ing] that something desired may happen”.  Other definitions are “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; “to desire with expectation of obtainment”; or “to expect with confidence”. In the English language the word can be used as either a noun or a verb, although hope as a concept has a similar meaning in either use.
During this time of expectant waiting and anticipation my “hope” for each of you is that you find hope of your own this season.