Hanging of the Greens

Today at Oakwood Village, we celebrate the "Hanging of the Greens."

It's the official start of the holiday season on campus.  Carols are sung, traditions recounted, and origins explained.  It's a religious service to begin Advent and getting our hearts and minds ready for the approaching royalty.

For the residents on campus, the hanging of the green means we're ready for Christmas.

Decorated trees are on every floor and in every entrance.

The greens hung represent eternal life and if you live in a northern clime, you know how lush and lively green hues are in the depths of winter.  Those darks greens mean life in a barren world.

While the rest of our culture seems intent on starting the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier, it seems to fit after Thanksgiving.

We hang the greens in decorating our homes inside and out - proclaiming life with trees and light.

If your Christmas decor includes holly its green brings deep meaning to Advent and the approaching Christmas.

The red berries of the holly and the sharp bush on which they grow symbolize Christ's crown of thorns and the blood shed on the cross - the reason for Christmas in the first place.

Advent is about preparation.  Hanging our beautiful decorations for the coming King are part of it.

With those thoughts in mind, we might look at our little tasks of preparing greeting cards and family newsletters and even shopping as part of our preparation for the joyous holiday.

As we check our lists and get our home ready - quieter moments of preparation - of hanging our hearts and heads - are important in getting set for Christmas.