Saturday, December 10, 2005

Favorites During This Advent

Time to revisit the gratitude producing list of favorite things in my life at this time. Here goes:

1. Trader Joes Winter Blend Coffee. I am drinking it right now, and enjoying every sip.

2. My advent wreath, which I made out of a glass plate, 4 pillar candles, and and a garland of wire, pearls and silver snowflakes wrapped around each candle and the perimeter of the plate. I love lighting it every evening, and often leave it burning a long time since the pillar candles have so many burning hours in them. I have put our Icon of the Nativity of the Lord up next to the Advent Wreath and we study it while we eat dinner.

3. God Rest You Merry Gentleman. Any rendition, all verses. Makes me teary eyed with gratitude.

4. Orchestral version of Sleigh Ride. FUN!

5. Pueri Concinite as sung by the Vienna Boys' Choir. Soaringly beautiful, a real spirit lifter.

6. Guacamole - the Eastern fast limits meat and dairy, but there is no limit on guacamole.

7. Soup. I have been cooking many varieties of meatless soups this Advent. Usually I just make them up based on what I have on hand. The shame of it all is when one is particularly delicious, and I really have no way of reproducing it. So, we are learning to be grateful for the moment, and not greedy about the future. All this from soup. Who knew?

8. Nonnie's Gingerbread Biscotti. An indulgence worth every calorie. Especially when consumed with Trader Joe's Winter Blend Coffee (see #1).

9. Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas music. I listen to this so much I have actually worn out cassettes and CD's.

10. My long black sweater I purchased in the juniour department. It's like wearing a bathrobe all day and getting away with it.

11. Christmas lights. I know, purists don't put them up til actual Christmas, but we use Advent to prepare, and slowly add one impactful decoration at a time. We hung some colored icicle lights inside, above one of our room-long windows. Baby girl toddled into the room, in her little yellow jammies with pink roses all over them, looked up, mouth open, and was speechless for a few minutes. Then, when she recovered her wits, she said, "Wow". Not profound, but the first time she ever said "wow".

12. Going to Liturgy with my husband, without the kids. We do this weekly, and sing the liturgy together, in harmony. It is amazing how many little bumps and bruises disappear when we sing our prayers in harmony. When I am at Liturgy alone, or if he is helping the cantors, I really feel his absence when I sing and don't have him next to me, rounding out my sound. It really feels as if half of me is missing. When we are singing our prayers together, we are "as one". In church. Cool, eh?

13. Clorox disinfecting wipes. What used to me a major irritation (3 y.o. missing the potty, spilled jelly, colds that spread like wildfire through the kids, etc.) are no big deal. Clean and fresh and disinfected in no time.

14. Fabric softener. I hate laundry, but I love the smell of fabric softener, and enjoy the sensory experience of folding warm, soft, aromatic clothes. Hey, I take enjoyment where ever I can find it.

15. Beaded ornaments. My girls and I are making bead and wire Christmas ornaments together. It is fun, beautiful, and good for many upper level skills (following directions, math, dexterity, perseverance, etc.) So we call it school and kill two birds with one stone.

16. The 6" snowfall we had yesterday. For six months our yard had been torn up and muddy. Now it looks beauful. The trees are beautiful, everything is lovely under a blanket of freshly fallen snow. My 7 y.o. son and I went out and looked for all the animal tracks we could find. Right through the middle of our yard is a veritable highway of animal traffic. There were deer, rabbit, coyote, raccoon, squirrel, and lots of different birds. These were all in a line, except the birds) as if they were following each others' trails. Pretty cool.

17. My new perfume "Wonderful" that I got at Kohls. It lives up to its name, and I look forward to putting it on each day. Then I get myself ready for the day with more entusiasm, and that is always a good thing. I have always liked the Clinique scent "Happy", and when I was looking to buy some perfume, I couldn't decide if I wanted to be "Wonderful" or "Happy", but then, I went with "Wonderful". So there you go.

18. Clemetines. It's like eating sunshine. Yum!

Well, I am sure there is more, but I gotta go get some things done.

What are your favorites this season?


Blogger Lori said...

I love Clementines.....they are a holiday splurge. Lucky you with snow. I bet it looks wonderful.
Sounds like you are in heaven with the coffee and biscotti's and you made me hungry reading this post.I would really like hearing more about the Eastern traditions you follow for advent...
Wonderful idea for a post, makes folsk remember what the holiday is about, instead of beating around to all the stores, driving themselves nuts!!

December 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

loved this

mandarines are staple diet for our family in advent :)

December 11, 2005  
Blogger Mairin :o) said...

I used to wear Happy until I figured out it made me Giddy then Cranky when I got a headache from it.
This is a lovely, thoughtful list.

December 11, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This time of year I am rushing all over the place, decorating, baking, shopping, etc., and it just hit me- it's Advent- I already knew it, but I have definately spent more time doing other things besides preparing for CHRISTmas. So my favorite thing this Advent is realizing before it's too late, that I need to prepare spiritually, not otherwise.

December 12, 2005  
Blogger Possum Pearl said...

*Warm fuzzies*

December 12, 2005  
Blogger rita said...

I love the moment you described your little one taking in the lights and saying "wow".
I am going to reflect on this one- I'll try and post on my blog later.
Happy Advent!

December 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this yesterday, Renee. And I reread it today.
Love it.
Think I might copy you! :-)

December 14, 2005  

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