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.