Reading, Advent, and party planning

Usually for Advent, Mike and I read The Christmas Mystery, or we alternate with another book. This year I suggested that we read The Chronicles of Narnia in our Advent time. I had been wanting to reread them anyway, and it seems like a fun thing to do with Mike. So, even though it’s not quite Advent time yet, last night we went ahead and started, reading two chapters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (I don’t care what C.S. Lewis or C.S. Lewis’s estate says. I like to read them in the order they were published.) This is just a warning – there may be Narnia-related musings on this page for the next few months.

Right now I am reading Chocolat by Joanne Harris. I saw the movie a few years ago and didn’t care for it, but the book was on a list of freebies I could borrow from another library for my book club, so I thought I’d try it to see if it would make a good discussion. I think it would. I’m almost done with it, so I think I’ll save up my thoughts on it until I am quite done. I’m still not sure what I think, but I do like the book better than the movie (so far).

This is my last day of work this week. Tomorrow I have an appointment in the morning, and then I am doing some party planning. We’re having a lot of our friends over for a pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday afternoon, and I have to pick up china from my mom’s house (I don’t have quite enough china for all my friends, and my mom has some fun Christmas china that she said I could use) and pick up some extra tables and chairs and make sure the tablecloths are ironed and get out the candlesticks and do the shopping . . . I can’t do those things on Saturday, because three of my friends and I are having a day together. We haven’t all hung out since January, and this weekend worked out for that. The other girls are coming over, and I’m making a big pot of vegetable soup, and we’re just going to catch up. And then in the afternoon we’re going to have tea together.

So, this weekend is a full one. I’m excited about our party – I think it’s nice to have holiday traditions with your friends, too, and we’re hoping that this will become an annual event. I’m also a little nervous. This isn’t the kind of thing I normally do – I can talk confidently about tablecloths and china and crystal candlesticks, but hospitality is a scary thing for me. This party has become a bit of a scary thing, too, because I want it to be important to people, and I guess in some ways I have turned it into a symbol of myself. If I am important to people, they will come to my party. Not a test of who my true friends are. More like, “Where do I rate on your priority scale?” And that attitude has meant that my feelings have been hurt. I think I have hurt some of my friends because of that. So, at this point, I am hoping that we just get through it without incident, and that I won’t focus on the negative, but on spending time with these people who are important to us.

We’re heading up on the holiday season, a time for celebration with friends and family. In many ways, our friends have taken the place of our family, at least on Mike’s side, offering us the support that we don’t get from his parents. I think that’s the other reason we feel like we “need” this party. Our friends are very important to us, and we want to celebrate that.

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    Reading, Advent, and party planning – Through a Glass, Darkly

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