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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Accepting the Woman You Are - My latest on

When I married into Mr. Pete’s family, I inherited a lot of his family lore. One of those tales was about Dear Aunt Kerry, who came to a formal family wedding in hot pants! I saw photographic evidence. It was more of a hot pants suit complete with the bright colors so popular in the 1970s, pointed collars, and knee-high boots with colored hosiery. It was quite stylish for 1970. But my husband, who was about 12 at the time, and his younger siblings thought it was hysterically funny. So funny that the story stood the test of time and they were still talking about it when I came into the family years later!

1971 Fashion, Hot Pants - 1 of 3
Classic Film via Flickr, licensed cc 2.0

The story came up this year when I was shopping to wear something to my nephew’s wedding. I wanted to wear something stylish but not silly, cute but not ridiculous, fun but not frumpy. Then I found the perfect dress. Okay, it was a little short and a little too tight. It was also sleeveless which made it the trifecta of bad dress choices for my particular body type. I tried it on and it fit okay but you’d have to ignore my obvious figure flaws before you could say it looked great!
That’s when it occurred to me: I was probably the same age as Aunt Kerry was when she walked bravely into family folklore with her neon-colored hot pants suit. I’m sure she didn’t want to be ridiculed or remembered that way. I think I finally understood where she was coming from. She was trying to dress the girl she used to be. I know in many ways I don’t feel like the middle-aged mom and now grandma that I am!  But the reality is, I am not the woman I was, and I have to embrace the new woman I have become.