I dust off the Advent wreath

Hoping to share a childhood tradition

A clumsy attempt to compensate

For lost Sunday mornings.

I have to call my mother

Which color candles are correct?

To infuse our secular celebration

With a smidge of deeper meaning.

It’s the first Sunday; a purple candle is lit

In anticipation of the coming holiday

A crumpled missive as my guide

I try to set the scene.

I tell a story of Wise Men

And a star in the East

My son, enthralled by the tall thin tapers,

Even appears to be listening.

But the candles on the table

Evoke a learned response

My earnest lesson disrupted

By a tradition more familiar.

My child smiles

In anticipation of cake

Sings, “Happy Birthday to Christmas,”

And blows the candle out.



  1. Lorraine · December 3, 2012

    Love it! I look forward to your posts! Beautiful thoughts.

  2. kfzuzulo · December 3, 2012

    Lovely post! I pulled out my little Advent wreath this weekend and had the same dilemma. Which candle first and when? After eight years being taught by the good sisters, you’d think I’d know. Thanks for the commiseration..

    • stayquirkymyfriends · December 3, 2012

      It’s amazing isn’t it? It was right there on the tip of my brain…Thanks for reading!

  3. kodonivan · December 3, 2012

    It’s purple, purple, pink, purple. I work in a Catholic school library and a retired sister is my assistant.

    • stayquirkymyfriends · December 3, 2012

      Thanks – yes, and as soon as my mom reminded me I knew it, of course – but I really wanted to get it right!

  4. Anonymous · December 3, 2012


  5. stayquirkymyfriends · December 1, 2015

    Reblogged this on Stay Quirky, my friends and commented:

    ’tis the Season 🙂 This is one of my favorite memories of our quirky Christmases…

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