Our Lady of Guadalupe everyone! Hank really likes St. Juan Diego, whose feast we just observed on December 9th. Tonight, we'll read all about Juan and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Henry's little saint book. I've really been enjoying this tradition we've started of reading saint stories before he goes to bed. Tomorrow is the feast of St. Lucy, and coincidentally I have a book about her for the kids that is out for delivery today. I have been keeping my poor mailman hopping, I can tell you. My Amazon Prime trial has been a resounding success. :0
This Advent, I've been enjoying the feasts that we celebrate much more than I ever have. My subscription to Magnificat is aiding in this effort, since I'm so aware of what is on the liturgical calendar for each day when I read Morning Prayer. And I've really been making an effort to share what I'm learning with the kids and start some new traditions this year. That is all going really well. We also have our Advent wreath out and have been lighting the candles each week, and the kids never let us forget about their chocolate Advent calendars, that is for sure and for certain. I've also been reading books set around Advent and Christmas, really keeping the spirit of the season in the forefront. This is all super fabulous.
There's always a point of failure though, is there not? :) I bought the kids a paper Advent calendar that I wanted to linger over each day and read the accompanying scripture booklet with them. Doesn't that sound lovely? So prayerful? Right, hasn't happened. Henry has been opening the windows each day, but he spirited the calendar away to his bedroom and peeked under all of the windows, and we lost the booklet, and...that just hasn't gone the way I wanted it to. Oh, and the Jesse Tree?
I'm going to admit it: I am a Jesse Tree Dropout. I have failed at this this year. Prior to the Saturday before Advent, I hadn't even thought about where we would *put* the ornaments each day. I figured we'd just stick them on our regular Christmas tree with the other ornaments. Further thought led me to believe that this approach was impractical. The Jesse Tree ornaments could get easily lost in the shuffle of the other ornaments and wouldn't stand out in any way. Then I tried to buy a separate tree for the Jesse ornaments. A frustrating trip to three stores later, I brought home this tiny Charlie Brown-looking tree that had a bright red cardinal perched on it amongst a gaggle of pine cones.
"Um, Sweetie? What is that for?"
"The Jesse Tree ornaments. Isn't it cute?"
"Well, yes, but do you think it's big enough?"
"Sure it is! The only other trees they had were these big 4 foot ones, I don't want one that big."
"Welllll...but don't you have 25 ornaments to hang on it?"
"Oh. But they're small! Let me just go get the box..."
But the time I returned that tree ("Mommy, can we keep that cardinal?" "NO! Let's never speak of the cardinal again...") and remembered to print out the guide that Michelle sweetly sent to us, it was WELL into the first week of Advent, and I still had no place to hang the ornaments.
But I have learned some things this Advent. Which is to say, I should not *pressure* myself. I have all of the Jesse Tree ornaments, I printed this fabulous guide to the set in full color, and now I have a sense of how large a tree I'll need to accommodate everyone. After Christmas, I'll pick one up for a great price, and next year I'll be all set to add this into the list of family traditions.
So, look for another Jesse Tree update in November 2014. :-0
Oh, and one final note!! It has nothing technically to do with Advent, but Advent IS the start of a new liturgical year, after all, and I wanted to freshen this blog up a bit in celebration. You'll notice that there is a brand new "About Me" tab at the top of the blog. I included a bunch of photos and information about the various things that make up my identity (*beams*), and links to some of my favorite posts on these topics. Check it out!