My mother in love has lived with us for about two years now and prior to that she was in a nursing home for a few years.  Recently she finally sold her house. Since there is very limited space here to display or store her belongings we are going through the process of paring down an entire household of items and deciding what essentials we should keep and what we can part with.  It is a very difficult process, because everything in her house was precious and has a story.  She is also a child of the depressions and never threw anything away, and passed the packrat gene to her son, because my beloved husband has as much trouble parting with anything as his mother.

And so, we begin this advent with a family room filled with box after box of the stuff of my mother in love’s life.  We are slowly deciding how to deal with all of the stuff. Right now it is like walking through an obstacle course. I am hoping to have it cleared out by Christmas so that we can celebrate in that room as we always have.

As I was moving boxes to get to the closet where we store our Advent wreath yesterday I kept thinking of the line about advent “make straight the path to Christmas Day”.   Isn’t part of making straight our path to Christmas finding out what things in our life are obstacles between us and Christ?  This is a great time to eliminate those obstacles, and make straight our path.   For me an added bonus of finding new “homes” for the things my mother in love can’t part with gives me a chance to let go of some of the stuff that was cluttering my house as well.    When I am finished, and I am determined to be finished in time to decorate the house on Gaudate Sunday (the 3rd Sunday of Advent) when we light the pink candle on the wreath; traditionally we wait to decorate our house till then. 

That is a funny thought, I want to clear up this clutter just in time to dig out all of the Chrisdtmas decorations from under the staircase where they are carefully stored each year so that we can spend a frantic week decorating to be ready for Christmas.  Even this simple task of uncluttering is my prayer; making straight our path to Christmas.  With God’s help we as a family will get there.

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