The elm is a kind and goodly tree,
With its branches bending low;
The heart is glad when its form we see,
And we list to the river's flow.
Ay, the heart is glad and the pulses bound,
And joy illumines the face,
Whenever a goodly elm is found,
Because of its beauty and grace.
But kinder, I ween, more goodly in mien,
With branches more drooping and free,
The tint of whose leaves fidelity weaves,
Is the beautiful Christmas Tree.
—Hattie Sanford Russell
"A Christmas Song."
[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmaspoem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]