The following is Tai French’s review of A Thrill of Hope: Celebrating Advent at Home by Ashley Wallace.
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A brief and delightful read, A Thrill of Hope: Celebrating Advent at Home by Ashley Wallace is a perfect introduction for those wishing to transition away from the hustle-bustle consumerism of the now-traditional holiday season into the peaceful, joyful anticipation of the once (and future) traditional Advent (and Christmas).
It’s a “hands-on” guide, packed with history and interactive suggestions for celebration and meditation. While it’s unlikely that anyone’s family could do it all, there’s an element of fun in having continued flexibility to try new things that are unified by the undergirding theme of celebrating the coming of Our Lord.
For the last few years, I’ve looked for a “one-stop” Advent/Christmas guide so that I wouldn’t have to constantly pin/print things online. I appreciate that this book has in one place many of the elements I’ve been searching for:
- devotions and family liturgies,
- the O Antiphons,
- traditional readings, and
One of the great delights of the book is that Wallace incorporates traditions and recipes from several cultures. I’m excited to explore and share these with my family, reminding us that, although we celebrate Advent differently from our brothers and sisters, we all share the same hope!
Another helpful aspect is that Wallace “scales down” traditions that might be typically celebrated in the larger community to the home and family. For example, most of us aren’t in a place where St Nicholas Day or Las Posadas are part of the cultural observation, but Wallace gives suggestions for how to celebrate small!
Wallace not only gives us permission to move away from the “Christmas crazies,” she also extends a beautiful invitation to celebrate in a fuller, richer, more meaningful, distinctly Anglican fashion.
I HIGHLY recommend this, especially to moms wanting to make their Advent observation more purposeful while not becoming overwhelmed with a to-do list.