I wish all days of winter or at least all the days leading up to Christmas looked like this:
That's my vision of the beauty I wish Advent had held. Sure, it really did on a good portion of the days. With the right mix of prayer, reflection, steady days, and family time, the past weeks have been good ones. While those proportions weren't evenly divided, we did our best to make our Advent the preparation time.
The pink week gave us extra feelings of Advent preparing as we headed out of the house to enjoy the season.
The girls were pumped.
Our more recent annual tradition of taking the kids to experience a local Live Nativity, was a hit once again. We bundled up and headed into the 20 degree weather to see the camels, goats, donkey, and of course those dressed up in costume. It's simple, but it has also become one of our favorite evenings each year. It is usually the week before Christmas and fills us up and puts us in the right spirit. We also take in some great Christmas light displays along the drive as well.
The following evening, we again headed out (mark your calendars, that's two nights in.a.row out of the house!) and attended the kids' piano recital.
Another job well done by both of the them and another excellent way to get in the Christmas spirit.
They are growing up, don't you think?
The weekend proved to be a fruitful one without much on the agenda. I have most all of the loose ends tied up at home, so I could help Reed with some of his baking and we could make our holiday meal plans. My parents came to visit and we enjoyed a couple of meals with them and a peaceful evening watching a movie together.
Sunday after Mass we had one of my aunts and a cousin over to our house for a baking afternoon. In honor of my grandma's love of baking and having family gathered around her, I decided to extend the hospitality that she always shared with so many people. We had a great time reminiscing and remembering my grandparents, laughing, and making cutout cookies using my grandma's recipe.
Perhaps this will be the beginning of a new Advent tradition?
As the weekend came to a close, our priest's homily theme echoed in my mind....
There is still time: Prepare!
With the final countdown to Christmas ahead of us, let us not forget all that has led us to that Holy Night.
My hope is that my family can put our feet up, rest, and enjoy each and every day this week.
And keep on smiling.
I hope that you can do the same and enjoy each precious moment with your family too.