Well, here we are, it is Christmas Eve. The Advent season has quickly passed, we have struggled to get many things done, continually reminding ourselves of the real priorities….working on our Spiritual Christmas Cribs, lighting our Advent Wreaths, putting up our Stable, doing things with the kiddos, etc.
It has been, and will continue to be through the Christmas season, a magical, beautiful Catholic experience, tying in the traditions of Christmases past, learning from great Catholic families who have taught us how to celebrate!
Vincent and I met at a Catholic Shrine. We loved the priest in charge. He was a dynamic, talented, wise elderly priest and we thought of him as a real father. His Advents were penitential and anyone who worked there (and we both did) took part in the penance. Fasting, no Christmas music, no Christmas movies, no goodies, nothing that even smacked remotely of the Joy of Christmas was allowed…it was definitely a preparation time (and a culture shock for me).
Then Christmas Eve hit! Father rallied the troops! All the maintenance men started at 5 am to work on the little chapel. It was like a swarm of ants working throughout the day! Work was not stopped until close to midnight Mass…when all would be ready for that joyous moment of the commemoration of Christ’s birth!
And wow! It took your breath away! I have yet to see anything like it! It was like another world when you walked into the chapel. Every rafter, every window frame, every nook and cranny were covered with strategically placed boughs, lights and beautiful decorations! The Nativity Scene was gorgeous, many Christmas trees were decorated and lit. It was stunning! And so worth the wait. Songs broke out, happiness was all around! Truly memorable times!
How fortunate we are! We have the Truth….the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. And now, we celebrate the birth of that King, the One Who started it all. Let us celebrate….and keep celebrating through this Christmas season!
Our Journey Through This Last Week of Advent:
Angelo was finally able to meet the man at the North Pole (at Menards)!
Hannah sits on his knee to pose only to discover afterwards a sign saying, “Please Do Not Sit on Santa’s Knee!” Embarrassed, she guiltily looks around and bolts to another department, while we laugh heartily in the background!
Gin and Jeanette make beautiful Greeting Cards. Here are 2 of them they made this year. I don’t know who made which one…they are both lovely!
Father Flood enjoys a game of Blokus with the kids.
Colin and Z have have been preoccupied with their own Christmas babe this year….little Ethan Paul!
It didn’t stop Z from having a beautiful candlelit dinner for Colin on his December birthday! We looked after the kids so they could enjoy this time with each other and new baby!
Her home is beautifully decorated for Christmas!
Jeanette makes cookies with her little girls….
Mike and Jeanette’s Christmas tree and decorated sweet little home…
In the last picture post I said I didn’t know what Devin was making with his kids…well, these are it and they are beautiful, hand-painted wooden Christmas tree ornaments! Quite lovely!
Theresa’s nooks and crannies are sweetly decorated. Keep in mind we don’t buy these decorations new. They are thrift-shop finds or things that have been given to us.
These Norfolk Pines were at Sam’s for $25.00 at the beginning of the season. They have worked their way down to $5.00…which is when Theresa (and we) grabbed one!
Hand-knit stockings from Theresa’s mother-in-law….Hanging on Devin’s trophy!
Theresa’s Spiritual Christmas Crib awaits the Holy Family…
Each straw in this manger is a symbol of the sacrifices and good deeds the children have done throughout Advent. Midnight, Baby Jesus will make His way into the soft bed….
The girls went over to help Gin decorate. Gin is expecting #8 and appreciated the help! Her home is transformed!
Making gifts for others….
Rosie has them stinging popcorn and cranberries….
Virginia’s Christmas Crib
The girls love to do puzzles and we have had fun putting them up on the wall in the play/movie room.
They are hoping to get this one done before Christmas but time is passing quickly….
This is what it will look like. Cute!
These are the 2 puzzles we have up on the wall for the season.
Someone threw out this big, plain wreath and Rosie turned it into something lovely and festive!
Our handmade ribbon snowflakes made by Gin three years ago are always a special touch to the Christmas decorations. We were going to forego the Norfolk Pine this year but since Sam’s had them on for $5.00, we couldn’t resist! Not only that, it is the best way to display them…
This topper is amazing! The amount of work put into each little petal that made the Christmas tree, along with all the details, never ceases to bring admiration!
Each of these “petals” that make up these snowflakes were just flat ribbons to begin with. Edges burned, ribbon folded and glued, they are put together to make something very special!
Our Spiritual Christmas Crib awaits the Holy Family also…
Cranberry Swirl Bread and Rolls are on the menu for Friday Family Night! David and one of the girls play cribbage in the background.
Packages of goodies are ready to give out to the mail lady, the UPS man, the neighbors, etc.
Our Christmas nook (rather a big nook, wouldn’t you say?!)
Children add to the charm of it all!
Merry Christmas from Our Homes to Yours….
Vin, Gin, Edward, Antonio, Benjamin, Johnathan, Emma, Nathan, Juliette
Devin, Theresa, Brendan, Sienna, Adrian, Avila
Dominic, Sarah and Rita
Mike, Jeanette, Agnes, Magdalene
Vince, Leane, Rosie, Marguerite, Hannah, Gemma, Angelo