Friday, December 4, 2020

First week of Advent: Acceptance, traditions, and Hallmark Christmas movies...

 Happy Friday everyone, and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week (where applicable ;-)). We truly did; it was quiet, but lovely. And I did enjoy my Black Friday of online shopping and movie watching from my couch, that's pretty much what I do every year anyway, hee hee!

This month, I thought we would quite naturally focus on Advent each week, and we're now nearly to the end of the first week of this liturgical season. My family put up our Christmas tree last weekend, decorated the house, and of course got out our pleaothra of Advent activities. Advent week 1 candle lighting was a GO!

Everybody is ready for some fun, we did have to glue on an angel wing this year, something untoward happened in the box during the off season :0


I was glad to have a home Advent wreath more than usual this year, since once again, our parish did not offer mass this past weekend. :( Father did announce that we will have an in-person option for the remainder of Advent, so I can't wait to go this weekend! But back to Advent Week 1. The kids were a bit unenthusiastic about my Advent joy, but I gathered them round to light the candle (Anne did perk up a bit to wield the candle lighter thingy), and we read the reading and short prayer from Lisa Hendey's book, which is excellent:

We also have a multitude of Advent calendars, from chocolate to magnets to Playmobil Back to the Future. I've been exerting quite a bit of energy rallying the troops, because my kids don't seem as into it this year, which makes me sad. They are now 15 and 9, I suppose it isn't a huge surprise, but they've always loved Advent traditions. I do think this year has taken a toll in this regard, we're all having to try harder to do things that we've always loved, it's the underlying depression and anxiety of our current situation taking hold, I believe. So I just pressed on, hoping that they'll come round as the weeks go on, and I do see some Advent calendar activity here as the week draws to a close, which makes me happy.

Overall, I think that I've come to a sense of acceptance and resignation that for the time being, our lives are different than usual, and instead of wallowing in the mourning and despair, I can try to find ways to still make things fun and bright. So I really put aside any impatience I would normally feel when we were decorating the tree and the kids inevitably started arguing or carelessly broke an ornament, and just treasured the experience and joy of it, because the children *truly* love this season and are building memories from these types of family moments. I made hot cocoa for them, and had Henry select a holiday playlist for us to listen to as we decorated. From things that both have said to me, I know that they remember these experiences fondly, and I want to give them both as special a Christmas this year as possible.

I'm also slowly coming to terms with the fact that this may be our last Christmas with a true Santa experience. Anne is 9, and still wholeheartedly loves and believes in this tradition (by this age, Henry did not) and so I'm trying to just enjoy every moment instead of getting melancholy about eventually losing this unique magic. We never know what is in store for us, and so why fret about next year when next year isn't even guaranteed? It really still is magical with her, and I want to treasure every single second. 

The other thing that has been making me smile this Advent season is Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Each weekend, I record the new ones that catch my eye (we have both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) and then watch them when I have free moments during the week. I use their app to keep track of which ones I want to catch, and check them off after viewing. This type of organization really appeals to my innate librarian qualities, and the whole experience makes me so happy. 😍 The Hallmark Channel offerings are lighter, sometimes funny, just true romcom. On Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the themes are more serious and heartwarming, and I kid you not, I have cried during a few of them. I dare you to hold it in when a parent finalizes the adoption of their beloved child on Christmas eve! Good stuff, truly. 

That was my First Week of Advent, and hoping for continued peace as we move into the second. How about you? 🤗


  1. We had a nice Thanksgiving. We are doing all the Advent things. We are putting up our tree Monday. We bought a live one. We have decorated part of the house and will finish up soon. We are wrapping our gifts early to try to avoid the Christmas Eve rush. We decorated the outside last week. We have watched a few of the Hallmark movies. Last Saturday's was the best movie ever. It was The Christmas Waltz starring Lacy Chabet. Hope you get to see that one if you have have not already. Have a Blessed Advent season.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    1. Hi ladies! We got a live tree, too. When I was growing up, we had an artificial tree, so I was attached to that tradition. But Mike *loves* live trees, so I was willing to give it a try. I have to say, it's quite lovely! And the kids enjoy going to pick one out each year, makes it really worth it. And we did put up outside lights this year, too! Well, Mike did, ha ha! We figured we should try and make the year extra special for the kids, considering everything that is going on.

      YES, I recorded and watched The Christmas Waltz, absolutely loved it! You knew I had to see that one with the dancing theme. :-0

  2. Sounds like the kids were beginning to get into the Advent spirit a little toward the end of the week. I like the idea of getting Henry to put together a playlist as background music for decorating the tree. I used to put on the complete Nutcracker ballet while we decorated the tree when the kids were little. They loved it.

    Advent is my favorite liturgical season, I think. I love setting up the Advent candles on the wreath. The girls would take turns lighting the candles each night (youngest always got to go first!). Like Anne, they would feel well chuffed at getting to use the lighter! Thanks for the info on the Lisa Hendey book. Think I'll order that for next year.

    I took a tip from you and decided to work on this year's MKAL gnome! I already had the needles, but my eyesight has deteriorated significantly since I last used them decades ago. It's been quite the challenge knitting something so tiny but definitely a lot of fun.

    I've been cantoring for Solemn Advent Vespers every Sunday at St. Anne's Shrine (where I volunteer), and that has helped lift my spirits. It isn't easy to keep up the cheer under the current circumstances, as you've noticed. Sounds as though you're doing a good job of it, though.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Dianne! oooo, the Nutcracker soundtrack, good one! I have that in my music library and often listened to it in my office during the season while I worked. I miss my office, sniffle.

      I was behind on the Advent gnome, but I started him yesterday and am catching up on the clues! I'm just about to start clue 3. I'm so glad you're doing this as well! What colors did you choose?

      Cantoring for Advent Vespers sounds absolutely divine! Yes, we just have to focus on the little joys to keep us going right now. I'm doing my best, and it sounds like you are too! *virtual hug*


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