Anticipation Past and Present

I suppose a word that sums up tonight’s post is “Anticipation.” Anticipating the Savior’s Birth in Bethlehem. And memories of anticipating my full reception into the Catholic Church in 1996. And after I wrote this post I discovered something I want to share with you. If you wanna skip to the end for that, I’ll understand.

+JMJ+ So good to have seen some tweets by people being received into Holy Mother Church these last few weeks. In the midst of all the unrest and turmoil, nothing makes my heart gladder than to see others discover and embrace the Truth of Christ and answer His call to come home to His Church. Makes me remember my own reception on that Easter Vigil in ’96.

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Christmas lights and Nativity scenes, these are a few of my favorite things

I love Nativity scenes. I currently have only a simple set, inexpensive. But I set it up every Christmas during Advent sans the manger and Christ Child which I place in the scene on Christmas Eve after dinner and sometimes at midnight. Depends on whether or not I’m attending Midnight Mass. This year I was ill (sarcoidosis, not the flu or anything contagious) during most of Advent and I didn’t get to go to Mass for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th Sundays of Advent and not for Midnight Mass either. I also lost my voice so I couldn’t even sing Christmas carols at home. Oy!

But I did manage to decorate the house last Saturday just a few days before Christmas. I’ve got stringing lights and garland on the front porch down to an art and this year I even threw a few lights on the shrubs in the flower bed. A small artificial tree on the table in the breakfast nook and a few other things here and there completed the look.

Then on Christmas Eve after the family dinner was over (and a very fine dinner it was, too, thanks to my sister and her husband!) and everyone had left or had gone to bed, I said a blessing for the Nativity scene and placed the Christ Child in the center. The three wise men are in the den, making their way on their journey to Bethlehem. They’re due to arrive on the feast of the Epiphany and then I’ll take the decorations down until next year.

But I may leave the lights in my room a bit longer. My older dog Abby hates those lights (or any lights when she’s trying to sleep) but I like ’em so I’m gonna keep ’em. For a little while. In the bleak midwinter a few little lights can bring a big smile. And I have a photo of my Nativity set to keep me company until Advent next year. Who knows? Maybe this coming year I’ll get an outdoor set for the yard.

Hope your Christmas season is a happy and blessed one wherever you are. Peace be with you now and throughout the coming year.

My Nativity scene, Christmas 2012

Thanksgiving and no shopping

Yesterday I spent the holiday with my best friend and her boyfriend and their parents. We enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked meal in my friend’s new apartment and hours later I was home with enough food to last me a couple of days. One of the best Thanksgiving holidays I’ve ever had. I usually go to Mass on Thanksgiving, but this year I didn’t. I felt like something was missing in the midst of all the good food and good company, and I think next year I’ll have to plan my time better so that I can attend Mass at the start of the day.

I haven’t even thought about shopping so far this weekend and I’m pretty sure I won’t go anywhere near a mall. No Black Friday for me. No stampeding horde of shoppers doing bodily harm to each other while buying Christmas presents, the ultimate lunacy. Advent begins this Sunday and I’m looking forward to focusing on the real meaning of the season, preparing for the celebration of the birth of Christ, looking ahead to His return at the end of time. I’m also looking forward to discovering what the new translation will be like since the new missal goes into effect this Sunday too. Yay! It’s about time!

May your own Thanksgiving holiday be filled with warmth and joy and may you remember to thank Him through Whom all things were made. May the peace of Christ be with you, now and always. Amen.