A dear missionary friend in Ireland sent a few words this week that helped me rethink a few things, and are worth passing on. He mentioned that it was/still is customary in Ireland to thoroughly clean a cottage inside and out in December. Part of that cleaning can be a new coat of whitewash on both interior and/or exterior walls. The reason for all this work? Not for comfort, not for pride, partly for cultural tradition I suppose, but the main reason is to 'make ready for the Christ Child', that all should be in readiness for His appearing.
That gave me a new perspective as I ready my house, my food, my gifts and my heart...may we all make ready in the week to come for the coming of the Christ child.