Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

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7- Quick Takes - the Christmas Season Edition

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. Long time readers might remember a post I did about our Christmas Scene and also here and here.  I inherited the basics from my grandmother- Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and some shepherds, a couple angels, and a few sheep.  Over the years I have been adding to the group.

This year I added this cute little donkey.

Some Bunnies


and this guy

2. We call this guy, Luigi. We actually got him last year but I forgot all about him (menopause is a wonderful thing - everything is new again!!)   I found him in a box at a local antique store.  I figured, he was to scale, and still in pretty good shape so I brought him home. What I didn't consider is that he is a completely different style!  But I want my creche scene to be a little eclectic anyway and since he was made in Italy, we made up a back story- he's cousin Luigi, a gentile - and he brought the pigs with him to Bethlehem!

3. When we bought our Christmas tree this year, I found this glass Santa on sale for only $15.   I couldn't resist!  But instead of hanging him on the tree, I put him on the bookshelf with our other Santas.  I'm getting a rather nice collection!

4. Meanwhile, our Three Wise men and their animals are on their way to Bethlehem via the dining room. They should be moving into the living room this weekend!

5. I was invited to play for midnight mass again this year. Mr. Pete decided to sing with the choir for midnight mass and went to all of the practices.  So with  Mr. Pete, Noah and Izzy in the choir and my three older sons doing whatever, I wasn't sure what to do with Rosie.  I decided to bring her with me.  Around 10:30 p.m. I took her sleeping bag, a pillow and a blanket up to the choir loft and put them back by the door to the bell tower.  My thought was that while mass was going on, Rosie could fall asleep there and be comfortable.

Turns out that the choir director found the bedding and thought a homeless person was sleeping in the choir loft and quickly told Father!   Word got back to me and I was able to clear up the mystery of the choir loft sleeper with the choir director - although we didn't tell Father until AFTER mass.

6.  One of the pieces I played for midnight mass was the Candlelight Carol,which just happens to be written in the key of G flat major.

I can't remember ever performing a piece in this key, at least not in a featured part.  Everything is flat except for the F... and you know what the F stands for!!!

In preparation I played some scale studies in G b major for a few weeks and practiced with the Youtube recording on my own daily.  But I think the real key to playing something this challenging is to do it so late at night that you literally are too tired to care.  I was so sleepy that I wasn't nervous at all and I nailed every note.

It was great!

7. I had a bit of a Christmas miracle. We had an unexpected offer on another part of my Father's ranch and we were due to close last Friday.  But on Monday we had some unexpected complications with deeds and paperwork that my Father mishandled somewhat back in the 90s.  Long story short, it didn't look as if we were going to be able to sell let alone close.  So I put a special prayer request on Facebook and several friends said that they would pray.  In particularly one kind lady, who was a friend of my mother's wrote that she would pray.  Things indeed did start to turn around.  The insurmountable paper work got done, the deeds got filed and by Friday we were indeed closed!  I think I owe it all to the power of prayer!


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