Getting ready for Christmas in Australia for a child often starts when school closes for the year. It’s hot. Sometimes the day temperatures in south-west Western Australia rise to the mid-thirties Celsius in December, and the dry easterlies start to blow.
For a farm kid in the fifties, those weeks before Christmas were a time of great freedom. We were discouraged from staying indoors, and the wide open spaces of the farm were literally that. We could run, or ride our bikes, as far as we liked, and simply enjoy the gift of creation.
But there was also the excitement of preparing for guests. Some like my mother’s parents, would come only for Christmas Day, after church services. Others, like Dad’s sisters, Auntie Kate and Auntie Pix would come and stay for some days.
We expected presents. More about them later.
This year, I am beginning my preparations early: my book of daily meditations for Advent is at the printers now. I hope it will be launched in Perth in October, but the books need to be ready in good time. I feel excited about this book. It has been a joy to write; as I reflected last Advent on the Scriptures for next Advent, I was able to wait on God for inspiration. My prayer is that what I have prepared will encourage readers as you prepare for Christmas 2014