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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The Beryl Anniversary

Once you get past 30 years of marriage (the pearl anniversary) the items that go with each subsequent anniversary are kind of unusual and rare until you make it to 40 (the ruby anniversary). This year we are celebrating our Beryl anniversary. When I told Mr. Pete he said, "Barrel? As in gun barrel? or as in you've got me over a barrel?"


I honestly didn't even know what beryl is, but I soon discovered that it is a gemstone much like emerald or aquamarine. The stuff that gives it a pretty green color is really an increase in certain chemicals. The greater the composition, the prettier the shade of green in the stone. For anniversary purposes, the emerald is the mascot for the 55th wedding anniversary - which for us is 17 years away.

I've been thinking about that a lot this week  - about the stuff that comes into and out of a marriage that increases or decreases its "color." We're not the same people we were 38 years ago. Thankfully some things have left our marriage - like insecurity and impatience. I think on my part as a wife, I've tried to grow more patient. Mr. Pete says I'm kinder. I have a settled spirit when it comes to smaller things - maybe even bigger things. And we have a lot more humor in our marriage. Not that we didn't always, but I think we can laugh at ourselves easier now and we help each other to say centered.

Over the past few years, we've become aware of something else - our marriage seems to mean a lot to other people including our children, and our friends and community. That makes me wonder if the graces that come from the sacrament weren't just for us, but for those we interact with as well? I also wonder if graces from our marriage extend to my granddaughter too? If there is something from our union that extends and protects her? Looking back at my grandparents and Mr. Pete's grandparents, I think there might just be something to consider there. We were certainly blessed by them; maybe this blessing plays itself forward.

But today is a busy weekday. Mr. Pete is going to work, I have some projects around the house, and tonight we have to play and sing for a mass for the deceased nurses in the area. We probably won't do much celebrating. I doubt we're going to be purchasing anything made of beryl for this anniversary either.  But maybe we can go to Cracker Barrel some time to celebrate.

wedding 1979