Not every special feast day in Advent gets its own blog post, but the Feast of St. Lucy does!
St. Lucy: the feast day of lights
Having an eight-year-old girl is becoming increasingly handy. This year, we made homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time instead of using the pop-can kind from the grocery store . . . and by "we," I mean Mary made them.
She prepared them and let them rise the night before, refrigerated them overnight, then baked them in the morning. (Skip this part if you want to eat one OR TWO of them while remaining in ignorant bliss that they contain 350 calories and 23 grams of sugar each.) These rolls were worlds better than the ones from the pop can!
|Risen and ready for the morning|
Then Mary (instead of me) read aloud our traditional story of St. Lucia to the siblings before bedtime.
Coincidentally, Chris has missed all or nearly all celebrations of St. Lucy's day with us, due to business travel, but today he got to eat a quick bite with us before departing at 7:00 a.m. for his business trip.
|Eating by candlelight|
Christmas Cards: Sharing the light of love with others
I sent Christmas cards every year from age 17 till 28 when I married. Some years since then, I've had to skip sending Christmas cards entirely, mostly due to being overwhelmed in these early parenting years.
This year marked a milestone: I had helpers to make the entire job last a mere three hours start to finish! No, I didn't work on it for two weeks, late at night. No, I didn't cramp my hand having to do it all myself.
This year, I would not have sent out cards were it not for my many helpers: Chris printed the envelopes, I wrote the greetings, and various children sealed the envelopes, affixed the stamps, walked the batches out to the mailbox, and took shifts babysitting the 16-month-old while the rest of us worked.
By next year, maybe I will hand off the whole project entirely, if the older children have handsome enough cursive handwriting by then! (Just kidding . . . sort of . . . maybe not . . . )
Christmas Tree: Decorating with lightsWhile the children rotated through playing Christmas carols, they put the lights on the tree with only minimal supervision by myself (who was busy rushing to make homemade pizza dough for dinner before we departed for music lessons). Again, I wouldn't have been able to get to the lights today myself, so I lowered my standards and told the tykes just to do it!
After attending music lessons and picking up a grocery order, I informed the children that we were going to Costco.
I don't normally go to Costco. I'm not the parent who does that. I write things on a Costco List and hand it to the other parent.
My ten-year-old asked me sincerely, "But, Mama, how will you take all of us into Costco?"
I sat there blinking at him, and then reminded him that I am the parent who manages to take all five children to CCE every week, on field trips often, on hikes and walks, and even on airplanes occasionally. While I might be smart enough to avoid taking children shopping inside a grocery store or Costco, I am capable enough to do it if I must.
Indeed, it was a success.
Drive-Through Christmas: Seeing the light of Christ
|Trying the Pioneer Woman pizza dough recipe|
After music lessons, the foray into Costco, and eating dinner, we loaded back in the car to go to the Drive-Through Christmas at Carmel Presbyterian Church.
The annual Carmel Presbyterian Drive-Thru Christmas is a dramatic representation of the major events related to the birth of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the biblical account of the prophecy of Christ’s birth and ending with the in the manger celebrating the birth, the live scenes depict the greatest story ever told.
Involving a large cast, these scenes depict the biblical significance of the baby in a manger. Come experience a living representation of the story that led to God’s gift of salvation.
The church has been doing this event for 20 years and they do a good job, even handing out an audio track on CD to hear about each of the living tableaux.
On the drive home, we drove past some Christmas lights, although not as many as we'd hoped due to the baby crying vociferously for his bedtime.
And that's One Very Busy Feast of St. Lucy wrapped up!