I love Christmas!! Christmas is truly the season for illumination. As long as I can remember, my family started decorating for the Christmas Holidays the day after Thanksgiving. Illumination is a big part of my Christmas decorations every year. I have candles in every window, two lighted trees inside my condo, and a lighted tree on my patio. My condo looks like the Griswold home in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” I have so many lights on that my neighbors enjoy my decorations rather than decorating their homes.

I grew up at First Baptist Church­—Spartanburg. So I was not familiar with the Advent Season until I joined First Presbyterian Church in 1994. I was in awe of the lighting and the explanation of the meaning of the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace candles that were lighted during the Advent Season. The lighting of the Christ candle during the Christmas Eve Service is the culmination of the Advent Season and the Celebration that Christ is truly the Light of the World and always will be. My Mother and I had the honor and privilege of lighting the Advent Wreath candles at the 11 PM Christmas Eve Service several years ago. It was an amazing and meaningful experience that we had the privilege to share that Christ is truly the Light of the World as we represented the congregation of First Presbyterian Church—Spartanburg.

Fran Bagwell

About the Contributor

Fran retired from the South Carolina Employment Security Commission. She is a member of the Limestone College Alumni Board and the President’s Advisory Council. She enjoys volunteering at the Chapman Cultural Center. Currently, Fran serves as an Elder at First Presbyterian.