Holy Days

Maybe just a little…

It’s possible I might just have a little smidge of the Christmas spirit now.

Wreath

We had a really nice service for Advent 1. Instead of a sermon, I wrote a somewhat amusing and hopefully instructional “conversation” for four voices. (You can read it here, if you wish.) I love writing things like this. The readers were a very good-natured gal who teaches at the nursery school and sings in the choir, along with Pure Luck, The Princess and #1 Son. Knowing who I was writing for made it very, very easy, once I had the basic idea.

We did only minimal decorating of the sanctuary. Molly Fan, a dear retired lady who works hard on our church garden and loves the Molly Dog, came in last Wednesday and created a gorgeous Advent wreath of fir and something else pretty for which I do not know the name, darn it, because that part of my education was sorely neglected. It’s one of those variegated, shade-loving green plants that I love, and sometimes it has a pinkish tinge. Molly Fan brought that kind and wove it in with the fir. We also had fir branches on either side of the altar, unadorned. A nice beginning. Next Sunday we will have a full-on Hanging of the Greens, the prep for which will take place this Wednesday morning.

At home, we have done no decorating. We generally don’t start until the second Sunday of Advent, when we go out after church and get a tree. There is usually a meltdown involved. Somehow I manage to buy a tree for the church in the parking lot at the corner store without any emotion and to great acclaim, but choosing a tree for our house at the locally owned nursery sends me into some sort of PTSD flashback. Since I don’t remember any bad scenes buying trees as a child, I can’t understand this. I just know it seems to be true year after year. Maybe I ought to just buy two trees at the corner store?

The sweater I am knitting for The Princess is well under way. Since she doesn’t read this, I’ll also tell you that we decided to spend a little money on American Girl stuff, as a political statement. Felicity’s baby sister and her cradle are now for sale, and that sounds like a fun addition to the collection. I’m having a little more trouble with the boys, not surprisingly. And since they read this, I’m not going to talk about it anyway. 🙂

We raced to get a picture of the three kids together before #1 Son went back to school yesterday. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but it will do. Because, seriously, as if it weren’t hard enough to get three kids looking good, or at least keeping their eyes open, at the same time, try adding two enormous dogs, one of whom lies down when she sees the camera, the other who runs toward you when you say his name. I ordered cards online this afternoon and should have them by the end of the week. I do the cards mostly to keep in touch with my parents’ old connections; each year there are more who do not write back, probably because they are too frail. It makes me sad.

Knitters, anyone doing any felting? I have a skein of bulky purple left over from making myself an Advent stole (I’ll try to get a picture of it), and I thought I might knit it into a purse for my 7-year-old niece and felt it. Any rules of felting I ought to read?

That sounds like a nice beginning to Advent alongside contemplating the lectionary. I will leave you with an Advent book recommendation, a favorite of mine and of The Princess: The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas, by Madeleine L’Engle. This was the book that convinced me I wanted to spread out the decorating and preparing, and I am so happy that it has become my practice.

It’s okay to start out with just a little Christmas spirit…there are 27 days left to get ready, right?

8 thoughts on “Maybe just a little…”

  1. read your reflection in the book today and I thank you. Just what I needed to open Advent. And this post only strengthens that. I also appreciate your creative sermon on Advent! Lovely.

  2. Amen to the lovely reflection. I’ve been doing a fair bit of felting–not sure what advice you’re looking for. Drop me a line if you want.

  3. I, too, enjoy felting and am happy to give any help. I am curious. What is the political statement with purchasing American Girl items? My 21 year old loved American Girl Dolls (still does) and used to have conversations with her dolls like they were people – oh I miss those days. Husband’s daughter, who is 8, could care less – she wants a pogo stick for Christmas!

  4. No Christmas spirit here, yet, but I’m not as grumpy as I sometimes get this time of year. I love the L’Engle book, and the idea; I really wish that we could celebrate the 12 days of Christmas,though, rather than the MONTH before.
    I’m trying to do Advent well this year. That’s my goal for now.

  5. I’ve never felted anything intentionally (lol), but my felting guru keeps insisting it’s fun, as long as one remembers:
    1. knits shrink more lengthwise than widthwise;
    2. if a washing machine is involved, place the item to be felted in a lingerie bag, lest loose fibers clog (and break) the motor and add a couple pairs of jeans to help agitation;
    3. some felted items benefit from a shave.

  6. Ina, too funny!
    Thanks for the advice about a lingerie bag. I will make the purse long rather than wide.
    Cathy, I wrote a post this morning about AG and Girls Inc.
    Emily and Christine, thank you.
    And r2ks, I’m not all the way there yet, but definitely improving.

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