Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Your Well-Trimmed Light"

My husband is fairly brilliant in matters theological. He knows the Bible backwards and forwards, he knows the Church Fathers and their letters; he quotes the decrees of the Councils of the undivided Church at breakfast -you get the picture. It is not often that I can score a good one! This year he was complaining about the Christmas cards I purchased because they read "Happy Holidays." "Well," I said, "You and I know that 'holiday' comes from 'holy day.' And they were on sale!" He hurumphed into his coffee and that was that. Imagine my delight when the sermon on Sunday containd a reference to that very thing! Our priest opened his sermon with some observations on the "Happy Holidays Phenomenon." For us, the Christmas Season is chock full of Holy Days! Tomorrow night, we will celebrate The Vigil of the Nativity; 25 December we celebrate The Birth of Jesus (not His Incarnation -we celebrated that 25 March - 9 months ago); 26 December we honor Saint Stephen, the First Christian Martyr (I have a brother named Stephen; I grew up singing about St. Wen. doing something on "the Feast of Stephen." I had no idea, but I had some creepy ideas!); 27 December we celebrate John the Evangelist, The Beloved Disciple; 28 December we celebrate The Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children Herod killed, and we remember the children today, born and unborn who are in peril; 29 December is Thomas Becket, 1 January, eight days after The Nativity, is the Circumcision of Christ - the first time Jesus' Blood was shed in accordance with The Law; The 12 Days of Christmas come to an end on 5 January with the Twelfth Night Festivities; 6 January is The Epiphany. That is a Season of Holy Days indeed!

I am as guilty as anyone of letting the stress of the season get to me - my house is a wreck with glitter and glue and globs of cookie dough that some how leapt onto the cabinets and under the table; unfinished Christmas stitching is overflowing the basket; the presents I have bought are not all wrapped, my sister's little girl has the flu and family plans are up in the air - BUT I keep reminding myself that the only thing I really have to do is prepare myself and prepare my children to fully celebrate Jesus' Birth. That is all. If we did nothing but attend Christ's Mass, snuggle while reading some favorite Christmas books, rise on Christmas morning and sing the beautiful carols - it would be enough! The presents and decorations and travel are gravy (or icing, if you look at it that way!) What a shame it would be if the simple and real things were overlooked in the bother and bustle of "the holidays;" if we like the foolish virgins (think of all the ones we have cross stitched!) were found unprepared to celebrate this Great Feast.

"Wake, awake, for night is flying: The watchmen on the heights are crying, Awake, Jerusalem, arise! Midnight's solemn hour is tolling, His chariot wheels are nearer rolling, He comes; prepare, ye virgins wise. Rise up, with willing feet Go forth, the Bridegroom meet: Alleluia! Bear through the night Your well-trimmed light, Speed forth to join the marriage rite."

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Thursday, December 17, 2009


I decided to start one more Christmas design - good thing I am Anglo-Catholic and can celebrate Christmas until 2 February if I want! I hope Brightneedle's "Lo a Rose" will not take quite that long. I am really looking forward to sifting through my projects and getting a fresh rotation going in the new year.

Here are a couple of sunny smiles to light your day!

PS Am I missing something here? My pattern calls for the words to be done in London Fog. Why do other people's look green?

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poinsettia House finished

Ta Dah!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poinsettia Progress

Here is a quick update on "Poinsettia House." That was a LOT of "Clay Pot" to stitch on the house - good thing I love to watch the subtle color changes! I messed up big time on the top poinsettia; I have not figured out how I will "fix" that yet. I hope to finish this up in a day or so and then go into ornament finishing mode. Of course, every time I post my big plans, I lose interest in them and start something else! Oh, well!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Did you miss me?

Wow! I have really neglected my blog lately! My newest neice was born the week of Thanksgiving, and it has been all go since then!

The girls decorated gingerbread houses last week with the friends they have been decorating gingerbread houses with for several years. They were on quite a sugar high!

I did manage to stitch a bit yesterday. It has been so long! I cannot believe I have not been stitching on all the ornaments I picked out!

Here is our Advent wreath. I could not find the purple and rose colored candles. We made the little clip-on St. Nicholas last Sunday in Sunday School. December 6 is St. Nicholas' Day. I have big plans for next Sunday for St. Lucy - we'll see. And don't feel sorry for me that I am not celebrating Christmas right now. It is Advent after all! And we party hard the 12 Days of Christmas. And I can celebrate Christmas 40 days if I want- until 2 Feb - Candlemas!
I am excited about Nutmeg's new piano piece she is working on! (I have been working on it too!)
Oh! And my little Nutmeg celebrated her 9th birthday this week! Happy Birthday, Nutmeg!


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