Yuko, Sister #3, and the Resident Foreigner in the Fellowship of the Advent Candles
We are just about to devour Yuko’s Japanese pizza: mayo-sauce with teriyaki chicken (Mmmmmm, my favoriet!)
This Christmas Yuko and I are laying the groundwork for lifelong family traditions. While we are for the most part basing them on the traditions of our own parents’ respective households, there is a lot of learning and experimenting involved. Take gardening, for example. We always watched our parents go at it, assuming that by merely having parents who gardened, we could ourselves be considered experts of sorts on the subject. How naive we were. In the case of Advent, I am attempting to overcome my twenty-eight year long refusal to sing. Hopefully by the time our kids are old enough to know do from fa I’ll be able to sing Christmas carols and hymns more-or-less in tune. (On evenings during Advent we light the candles after dinner, sing some Christmas carols, and read Christmas stories from various anthologies).
I made the advent log myself out of Aomori hiba at the Muraguchi workshop. As was the case last year, I took advantage of Kazamaura Junior High School’s woodworking program hosted by our good friend Mr. Muraguchi.
When I was very young, Advent was simply an opportunity to play with melted candle wax and a "heads up" that packages of presents would soon be arriving from relatives unknown from overseas. Now, it’s a time to worshipfully reflect on the very core and essence of the Old and New Testaments: the prophecies and promises concerning the Messiah. Handel’s Messiah is by far my favourite vehicle for reviewing and reflecting on these prophesies and promises. Unfortunately, this year Yuko and I will not be able to attend the Messiah concert in Hirosaki so we will have to sit down with some cups of hot cocoa and listen to the CD.