This year Dena and I decided to keep our new tradition from last year and celebrate Advent as a family in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas. This time is meant to prepare our hearts for Christmas and to refocus our attention on the hope we have in our faith in Christ. Personally, it is always very helpful to remove my eyes from what I can so easily get caught up in- superficial commercialism and the materialism all around during these days. More than that, it has been a joy to celebrate these days with Dena and Eli. I’m thankful for the memories we have made of lighting the candles around our Advent Wreath, reading from Scripture and singing songs of hope. I have delighted to watch Eli at a year and a half look at the wreath and candles in wonder and then clap and dance along to the singing. These days are stirring to my heart. I am so grateful we have them. Smoky Advent Candles