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In the spirit of change, we started two new traditions this year:

1)      December 23 evening meal was held by candlelight alone.  “Caveman style,” as the kids called it.  We lit the Advent wreath, turned out all the other lights and feasted on spaghetti together.  Victoria pointed out that fire was the only kind of light Jesus had, too, so we were remembering his birth in a special way by not using any electricity to light our dining room.  Have I mentioned that Vic amazes me?

After dinner, we turned on all the interior Christmas lights, turned out the lamps, and watched It’s A Wonderful Life together.  This is a tradition usually reserved for me and Dom alone, but the kids have slowly grown into non-animated movies, and I figured it was time to bring them into the tradition.  Vic fell asleep before the movie was over, but Aaron got the full experience of George Bailey’s awakening. 

2)      Christmas Eve morning (today) we had a special breakfast together around the Advent wreath.  We made organic pancakes, and we were joined by Martin, our elf.  This breakfast was different from all others only in that it was not rushed, and I stayed at the table long after everyone else trickled away, reading the O Antiphons and humming O Come, Emmanuel to myself. 

We hung the Bethlehem Star on the Advent calendar to signify the holiest of nights, and we made plans to light the Advent wreath one more time this evening before tucking it away for the next year. 

The Bethlehem Star, by the way, was constructed from plain paper by my mom, who measured, folded and protracted until she was certain each angle was perfect and each crease permanent.  I spray painted it gold and hot glued a hook to the top back.  I hope to find some way of fortifying it for future use. 

As we have removed a star from the calendar each day of Advent to mark the countdown to Christmas Eve, the kids have placed the stars on the Advent wreath.  This provided a little extra decoration for the table, and gave us a sure and certain place to store our stars.  I am not certain how to best store the calendar once we take it down – that is still a work in progress.  And yes, I will also post instructions on how to make the calendar yourself (soon) so you can be ready for next year!

So, that has been our Advent in a nutshell.  It’s been a wonderful four weeks.  I hope your Advent has been wonderful too! Merry Christmas!!