I use a neti-pot and have been faithful to my allergy meds…yet here I am sick again with a sore throat, congestion, ear ache (I believe the congestion cause the other two) and vertigo. Having to hold on to wall in the hallway and close my eyes to get the kids up this morning meant no mass today…if I can barely walk, sadly, driving is out of the question.
I feel awful. I love Advent. It is my favorite season of the Liturgical year. I admit, this year, I started with trepidation because of the changes to mass (I have a fear of making a fool of myself, and change sometimes can be that catalyst). I do, however, have some pics of our Advent preps I want to share.
At school, Shelby’s class made a “countdown to Christmas” chain (aka an Advent calendar, but we are in public school, so there has to be a more inclusive term used, which is fine with us!). That’s Joey pointing to it and it goes from our kitchen ceiling almost to the floor. Then there is our Fisher Price Advent Calendar. The boys alternate days on who gets to cut a link from the chain and who gets to put an ornament on the tree.
Next is our first ever Nativity scene. They are actually ornaments. There is no Joseph or Shepherds, but it was all I could afford the first Christmas we were married.
As I told my mother, just because we don’t “do Santa” doesn’t mean he is banned in our house. And this decoupage wall-hanging hung in our home at Christmas growing up.
We have a Peanuts nativity scene from my parents. Woodstock stands in as the baby Jesus. All the crowns and head-dresses are removable so the characters can be used year-round, but we only bring it out as a special thing for Christmas time.
The Wisemen and camels from our Little People Nativity scene are on the window sill because they won’t arrive until the Epiphany!
The angel is proclaiming the Good News to the shepherds and their flocks. And in the background, the inn-keeper and his family are sleeping on top of the inn.
Our manger scene is sans Joseph (not sure where he is) and the little drummer boy
The stable is fully stocked. (Shelby loves the musical manger area and stable and after I took the pictures, she removed the people and animals and brought the buildings back to her room.)
We also have “Rockefeller Center” Fisher Price scene. We actually own two of those Christmas trees…long story. Ask my mom sometime.
This is our “Christmas shelf” it is mostly stocked with items my parents gave us from their massive Christmas collection. The angel in the back was actually my grandmothers and it looks just like her.
This is a stocking that was made for me either by my great-grandmother or great aunt. The picture of the little girl sleeping with “visions of sugar plums dancing in her head” was made for sure for me by my great-grandmother. When Jeff first saw it he asked why the little girl has a blond braid when my hair is so clearly NOT blond…I’m not sure. Maybe my great-grandmother (who was Polish) was thinking of her childhood or just didn’t have any brown thread… (it was a gift for my 3rd birthday from the inscription on the back).
This is our advent wreath. Doesn’t look like much of a wreath, does it? Well, again, our first Christmas, it was the only “wreath” being sold at our local Catholic book store. I happen to love it because I don’t know many people who have one like it. You may also notice that there are no candles in it. Well, I have a pyromaniac toddler, a four-year-old who hates to have lit candles around, and an autistic five-year-old who a) likes to break candles and b) is fascinated by fire and doesn’t seem to understand the destructive or burning elements of it, so, sadly, no candles. BUT…
We have an Advent tree! Last year, both Christi of Our Bakers Dozen (formerly Mum2Twelve), and I had the same concerns about toddlers and the Advent candles and came up (separately) with the same solution. Purple and pink lights and ornaments added a week at a time to the tree. The bottom string of lights were the only set of purple lights I was ever able to find. The second string are clear LED lights colored with a purple sharpie. We also have a purple string of beads we found.
Our tree is our first artificial tree. I am a real tree lover. Despite the watering. And the constant vacuuming. But, sadly, last year we discovered Shelby is allergic to real trees. Yeah, autistic child breaks out in hives on Christmas Eve, was the impetus behind our decision to buy an artificial tree this year. Which I put together (by myself) this past week. I’ve discovered that artificial or real, you still have to vacuum.
I don’t ban Christmas carols, we do have some cds that we occasionally listen to because there is nothing like Christmas mass and the kids not knowing the carols (as Simcha pointed out last year). And we have been watching Christmas movies. As Kayla pointed out quite eloquently, we must prepare ourselves which doesn’t mean throwing things together at the last minute. 🙂 So I may wish you a blessed Advent or blessed time of preparation for the Lord’s birth, but I won’t bite your head off if you wish me a Merry Christmas :).