Sunday, November 29, 2009

Deck the Halls...with Purple?

Advent has finally arrived!

While I cherish the vibrant, magical, joyful celebration of Christmas, there is something deeply soul-satisfying about the reflective, candlelit season of Advent. In keeping with the spirit of the season, we keep things simple in the days leading up to Christmas Eve, with only a few special celebrations scattered here and there--St. Nicholas's Day, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and St. Lucia's Day. Our annual tree cutting is also a special occassion, though we don't do the actual decorating until December 24th. This simplicity includes not only the activities we choose to engage in but also the food we eat and the way we decorate our home. We don't break out the real treats and the exciting decor until Christmas!

Still, it would be too sad to strip our home of its autumnal decor without putting something in its place. Here is a peak into our rooms to see what decking the halls for Advent looks like in the Hudson home.



I wasn't a huge fan of our old Advent wreath with its flimsy holders and correspondingly wobbly taper candles. So, this year, I improvised with some pillar candles I had laying around a tray that was given to Brian and me as a wedding present. I like that the pillars are sturdy and long-lasting enough to stay lit all through dinner and still last the whole season. I just wish I'd had three purple ones. Ah, well. There's always next year.


Here's our fireplace mantle. I found these neat purple votive holders at Target, and I placed them around the house. This particular one has taken up residence between our statue of St. Therese and one of my favorite pictures of Sophia, the one I brought with me to the birthing center when James was born.

Here's a close-up of the kids' new advent calendar. I found it for twelve bucks at our local Value Village. There's a little box for each day, and rather than candy--because Advent is supposed to be a penitential season, after all--I have put an Advent-related activity for each day inside the twenty-four boxes. Sophia opens it in the morning, and we have an Advent calendar book that slowly tells the Christmas story with excerpts from Scripture for the evening.

How are you decking your halls for the season?

7 comments:

  1. Right after dinner on Thanksgiving I began putting up our Christmas Decorations. I love your decor!

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  2. Marissa- ^_^ hee hee. One of our neighbors definitely already had even the yard and his TRUCK decorated by the time I went jogging Friday morning. It made me smile.

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  3. I don't have children, but one of my favorite childhood memories was the homemade advent "calendars" my mom made for me and my brother. We taped them to our bedroom doors. Mine was pink felt. It did have candy taped to the days, but my mom didn't let us have too much of that stuff, so the chocolate kisses and striped peppermints were like exotic treats.

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  4. Joslyn - Sweet!

    Just for the record, I have nothing against families who put candy in their advent calendars :) It's just something we choose not to do so that we can focus on the penitential nature of the season. Similarly, we don't eat dessert during Advent (I know, it's hard not to start baking cookies the second the turkey is cleared from the Thanksgiving table) except on feastdays and Sundays--which are ALWAYS a feastday thanks to the Resurrection!

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  5. We have made a Jesse tree (on poster board with paper symbols) which is acting as our Advent calendar. Our Advent wreath is simply from pine boughs and twine with purple votive candles. We also have a good deeds jar; the kids select a good deed to perform each day as a present for Jesus. I will probably pull out a few decorations each weekend. It's hard not to pull everything out but I do like that Advent allows us to truly anticipate instead of receiving instant gratification. I'm impressed you are giving up desserts! We're giving up eating out (a big deal for us) but maybe desserts next year....

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  6. Hey there sweetie! I love your Advent celebration/decorations, and you have put me to shame... we haven't had an Advent wreath in years. *blush* I have such fond memories though of lighting the Advent wreath as a child, I am determined to have one next year.

    We do have an Advent calendar very similar to yours though... I have wanted one for years and finally purchased mine for a pittance during Christmas clearance last year. I bought some little trinkets: peppermint kisses, little bird shaped ornaments, and that sort of thing. I'll put in there notes with different things I've planned, such as cookie decorating, a trip to the state park to play in the snow, calls to Nana... and I think on one day I will put a few dollars in along with a trip to the mall and the direction that they must purchase something for someone else with the money. Just a few of my ideas... Isn't this time of the year the best?? sigh...

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