As the first week of Advent draws to a close, hints of Christmas are starting to pop up in our home. Our Advent wreath is nearly finished (surely we have last year's garland somewhere!), a few Christmas gifts are wrapped and awaiting a tree to be put under, some of my favorite music and books are making their annual appearance and last night we purchased this year's first peppermint stick ice cream.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus is collection of readings for the Advent season. Purchased last year (after Advent started), I wasn't able to read the whole thing before Christmas, but this year I've picked up where I left off and am enjoying the readings. They're short enough to read during my morning quiet time, yet meaty enough to give you something to ponder. (The same author as also put together an Easter collection I recommend called Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.)
Behold the Lamb of God--my favorite Christmas cd hands down, and quite possibly one of my favorite albums of all time. Chris said that if it was available on vinyl, he'd pay $50 for it. (That's a big recommendation, people!) On my birthday, we'll be snuggled on the couch by the light of the Christmas tree watching the live DVD of the concert, something that's becoming a tradition. Meanwhile, the cd is getting plenty of play in our house, telling the story of Christ in beautiful and original music.
Your King Has Come is another cd full of songs that aren't necessarily original, but the arrangements of many are. I love the Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb version of "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus." So beautiful and haunting.
A Charlie Brown Christmas--somehow, I managed to make it college without seeing this classic. Not quite sure how that happened, but thanks to Hulu, we watch it every year. And every year, I love it.
What about you? What do you recommend to read/listen/watch?