Friday, December 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday {Take 23} Festive Christmas preparations edition...

-1- Eyeballs, anyone?

Today is the feast of St. Lucy!

Last night, the kids and I read about St. Lucy, who is a house favorite. Hank has always been fascinated with her. Every saint book that we've ever collected (and there are many, believe me) has always been scoured for the St. Lucy story.

So, this morning we skipped having Anne wake us up with a crown of lit candles :o but had buttered rolls with breakfast. I've really been enjoying this increased family celebration of saint feast day traditions. I'd like to continue it after Advent, it's been so enjoyable. In fact, this book is sitting innocently on my Amazon wish list. ;-) AND, there is another book that could help us in this endeavor, and you too! Check out take #4 below!

-2- *adjusts bun*

Attention all! The librarian is going to be hosting the monthly book club coming up! In fact, I'll be reviewing more than one book next week (once again, see #4 below). Wednesday, December 18th I'll be discussing A Catholic Christmas, by Kathleen Carroll, and I welcome anyone who has read this book to join me in the comments! I just finished last night, and even if you haven't picked this one up yet, you could still finish in time! This is a short book, an easy read, but it's jam packed with interesting information. I found a print copy at my public library, and you may as well. The librarian just told you to check the catalog, what are you waiting for, people?! Also, it's available for Kindle and you could download and easily have it read by Wednesday. She talks about the major feasts in Advent and Christmas seasons, it's perfect for this time of year.

-3- Ooh, la la!

Saturday's hafla has me all in a dancing frame of mind. Suddenly, I'm downloading new music and feeling all inspired. It's a nice feeling. My troupe has some fun performances coming up in the new year, so it's a perfect time to get inspired. We're dancing at a Lebanese dinner in mid-January, and then at a Mardi Gras party on March 1st. As well, summer festivals abound, so there is a lot to look forward to. We're going to be teaming up with the Bollywood and Flamenco dancers at the festivals to present a world dance performance lineup, which is terribly exciting. And speaking of Flamenco, I emailed the instructor. With Mike's blessing, I'd like to take her beginners class sometime in the new year. It's after Anne goes to bed, and near Henry's bedtime as well, but I don't like to be out of the house too much and make our family schedule all crazy. So, we'll see. But I'm excited with the possibilities!

-4- Giveaways!

Free stuff is always fantastic, no? As part of the Advent veiling linkup that I'm hosting, Veils by Lily is giving away winner's choice of a beautiful mantilla. It runs through Monday. What are you waiting for? Go enter! There will be one final veil giveaway next week, starting on Tuesday. Stay tuned for details!

Also, on Tuesday I'll be reviewing the first book in a series on the liturgical year. The series is called Let Us Keep the Feast: Living the Church Year at Home, and this volume covers Advent & Christmas. There are 4 volumes in this series, and for each I'll be posting a review, and a hosting giveaway for a print copy of the book, throughout the year. These books contain lots of great ideas for incorporating traditions into your home relating to the liturgical year. So! Like I mentioned, come quick like bunnies over to your humble Catholic Librarian's abode on Tuesday to read more about this series and enter to win a copy of the Advent/Christmas volume. Exciting, yes?! I may even break down and explore Rafflecopter just to make this easier for you. I'm a bit behind the times with such newfangled technology. :-0

-5- Do you even *need* sleeves on a sweater?!

I'm hip deep in Christmas gift knitting, and it's going pretty well. I suppose. Well, I say "it's going well," as meaning "I won't finish, or ever START, everything that I wanted to, but I've accepted it, otherwise I will be failing in my mission to have a peaceful Advent and not drive my husband crazy with my panicked breakdowns." See? Always looking to the positive.

I did finish some small gifts back in the fall. My secret Santa gift for some (lucky? *look of innocence*) member of my knitting group is ALMOST done. It looks nice, although it too had a journey of me contemplating ripping it back and/or throwing it in the garbage. It's all part of the knitting process, this is totally normal. :-0 At least I *tell* myself it's normal. *clears throat*

Anyway, the only other thing I'm still working on is Mike's cardigan, and well... I long ago resolved myself to the fact that it won't be done. I can only work on it when he won't see it, so I'm very limited in how much progress I can make each day. I was hoping to have *most* of it done by Christmas day, but it's looking more and more like he's going to get a partially finished cardigan back piece with needles still attached wrapped under the tree. I'll include a photo from the pattern, so he'll see the potential. ;-) After the back piece is done, I'll *only* have the two front panels and sleeves to go. Oh right, and then it will all have to be pieced together and seamed, otherwise how would he wear it? *snorts* We'll get there.

-6- "Ok, let me just pull this side down...crap!! Where are the scissors?!"

I hate wrapping. I mean, I don't mind wrapping if I only have one thing to wrap. But at Christmas, I have a whole litany of things to wrap, and it just becomes a drag. And is it me, or is it inevitable that no matter how much wrapping paper you purchase, you will NOT be able to accommodate 1-2 of the gifts, either because they're too large or otherwise too awkwardly shaped? I just dread this. I should start now, right? So that I can do it a little at a time?

*long suffering sigh*

Believe me, I have contemplated not wrapping anything and just presenting the gifts to the recipients. *I* think this captures the spirit of the season better ;-) but I have been outvoted on this.

-7- Linkup about your Third Sunday of Advent!

On Monday, I'll be hosting another Advent Sunday linkup! I'll write about my Third Sunday of Advent (and yes, I'm planning on wearing pink, I'm a nerd) and if you write about yours, do link up! I'd love to have you.

All right friends, I need to wrap up. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! We're getting some snow and cold temperatures in my little section of the Northeast. It's also that time of year when it's dark longest and the days are short. Sounds depressing, but there is something so beautiful and sacred to me about this deep part of the winter. I love it. :)

Check out other 7 Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary!


  1. Celebrating my first Internet interview!

    The first book of the Holiday Series, "No Christmas for Olivia" will be free December 16-20.

    Olivia decides she won’t celebrate Christmas. What she doesn’t know is that Christmas comes whether you want it or not! In the story, Olivia is hurt and angry that her family is going to visit Aunt Fran in Phoenix over Christmas vacation. It means there will be no trip to the tree farm to cut a Christmas tree. Her beloved decorating traditions will go out the window. And absolutely no snow on Christmas Eve! Olivia decides to skip Christmas this year. Her parents can make her go to Arizona but they can't make her enjoy the holidays! Follow Olivia out to Phoenix as she learns the true meaning of Christmas.

    This book is a delightful read for teens, mothers, sisters, aunts and best friends. The Characters will stay with you forever. This free book is just in time for you to give as a gift to someone special. May your Christmas be filled with love, laughter and joy as you share it with friends and family.

    Mary Ellen

  2. I also loathe wrapping Christmas presents...I'm a fan of hide-the-gift-behind-my-back-and-say-surprise technique!


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