Also known as the Third Sunday in Advent, and a real wake-up call of a day for those of us who need a bit of lead time before Christmas—mailing packages to far-away family and friends, decorating and baking from scratch, and (of course, you knew this was coming) knitting, sewing, building and otherwise creating Christmas gifts with our own hands.
When the older kids were little, we homeschooled and December was pretty much devoted to Advent as preparation for Christmas—home-baked cookies and candy, knitted, sewn and carpentered projects—we were all so many busy bees. Times change, and we are down to one full-time kid (who goes to school!) and things are a little different. I have given up the creating of sweets, but gladly supply ingredients, and various other family members have taken over those projects—needhams, fudge, ginger snaps, spritz of all sorts, meringue surprises, angel bars, ting-a-lings, black-eyed susans, ha’penny snacks, rum balls, gingerbread people, pfefernusse, sugar cookies……….
As I learned over the years, any new holiday activity that is welcomed becomes an instant “tradition”–I am slowly, but very surely, peeling back to what I feel like doing—where is it written that mothers have to wait 30 (40?) years to actually consider Christmas a holiday again??
So. I’ve pared back to what I really want to do—the reduction in shopping this year is tremendous—we all have a $5 limit (except stocking stuffers), and that includes me and John. (Boy, do we love Marden’s!!) Less shopping means less wrapping, another great thing. Instead of being frugal, I guess we could say we’re being green!
But there are a few things I don’t want to let go of (did I mention knitting??!–that $5 limit does not apply to hand-made gifts—big loophole!). Another is making wreaths. Back in the day I made wreaths for everybody—siblings, parents, in-laws, the office, and enough wreaths for us that there was at least one in sight no matter what side of the house and barn you were looking at. But I have pared down—now I make 3 (well 4—one of the three is an advent wreath for the kitchen table—and it really needs re-doing by Christmas, so it counts for 2)—said Advent wreath, one for our neighbors, and another for us. And I enjoy it so much more. I take the time to use various evergreens, not just balsam fir, and though my bows are as execrable as ever, I think the wreaths look pretty good—Here is a little gallery showing the production of one today.
So what else is important? Family, faith, friends, new babies, good food and knitting to keep us all warm!
And because today is Gaudete Sunday, we light the pink candle along with the two purples, and Margaret and her friend set up the manger.
And I knit pretty late – photos of “The Box” inhabitants will be forthcoming by Christmas Eve!