Advent 2020 ushers in Christmas spirit


Christmas spirit has arrived

By Emma Palova

This wintery December morning was the first time I appreciated its beauty sitting in the sunroom and watching the Advent candle flicker in the expectation of the sun rays to stream in.

The Advent season started on Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. Although I usually observed the four candles of Advent being lit at the church, I never really paid much attention to it due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, I missed some of the Advent Sundays, because I probably went shopping for more things. Thus, I was surprised when I found out that one of the Advent candles is rose coloured for Gaudette Sunday on the third week of Advent.

However, this time due to the COVID-19 restrictions and increasing cases, we don’t go to church physically but watch the mass broadcast from the St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids. I found myself paying more attention to the spiritual preparation for Christmas than ever before.

I meditated in the morning before I started the day to streamline my thoughts and actions. This time I could just sit and watch the daylight come in after a very light night due to the full moon.

I have already gathered what I could as far as gifts and food; I have my poinsettia, pistachios, Manchego and Winternacht chocolate figurines from Aldi’s. Black Friday wasn’t as packed with deal hunters as usual. And there was no apres shopping dining due to the restaurants being closed until Dec. 7. So we stood outside in the November cold, drank cold beer and had a burrito from the Voodoo food truck in front of the New Union Brewery in Lowell. I have yet to buy the Christmas Eve fish from the Fishmonger of the Great Lakes tomorrow in Ada and meet with a very good friend.

Czech Christmas mass by Jakub Ryba

The mailman has been good to me. I have received most of the gifts on time that I could even delight myself over a set of beaded ornaments still with a tag “Made in Czechoslovakia” and a treasure trove of children’s mysteries from the Dubois Files by Ludington author Joan H. Young. Rarely, had I ever been able to examine what I had bought always in the rush to usher in the holiday spirit, and then pack it all up in the festive wrapping paper, that tears up so easily.

Somehow , the COVID-19 isolation reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is really about. When I received an email from Tres Bohemes with a link to Jakub Ryba’s Christmas mass yesterday, I knew that I finally had to pause and stop pretending that everything is back to normal.

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday alone with a delicious take-out from the Candlestone Resort- at least there was no mess in the kitchen. I had a well-attended book signing of “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts on Saturday with my friends and invitees showing up in different time slots-what more can I ask for. My next book signing will be on Dec. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at LowellArts. Stop by for a last minute gift. I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the gallery.

My parents, Ella & Vaclav Konecny with my brother Vas came to wish us happy holidays and a farewell, as they are leaving for Venice, Florida on Saturday. We had a good chat abiding by the CDC rules wearing masks and social distancing. All holiday fights were preempted by the restrictions.

We were on the phone with our two kids: Emma and Jake to converse about the holidays. And no, I have not decorated yet or put up a Christmas tree or baked traditional Czech Christmas cookies. But we watched both “Christmas Vacation” and “Christmas Chronicles” together with Ludek on our red couch, and that’s all that matters.

And sadly, there will be no Santa parade except for the Drive-Thru one at the Kent County Fairgrounds this Saturday, and no old-fashioned Christmas at Fallasburg. But there will be other promising new things.

So, stay tuned how it all goes.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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