Preparing for Christmas
Even a short Advent, like the one we had this year, with barely more than three weeks, can seem a long time when you're looking forward to Christmas. Typing this on Christmas morning, before every one else is up, enjoying my first coffee since the start of Advent, I'm glad that the Church proposes a season of preparation. Over weeks of time we slowly decorate and do all of our "Advent" things: cards to friends, preparing for the big Christmas dinner give-away with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, concerts, the Advent Procession at the head of the season. Finally, with only a few days to go, welcoming home our children to help us finalize the preparations and begin the celebration.
But now the day is here. And so we wish you all a Merry Christmas and our fond wishes for a new year of health, joy and peace.
We went to fetch a tree on Saturday, December 22nd after the SVDP Christmas dinners were delivered/handed out. We made a quick selection, getting a tree that was a bit wide for our little living room, but it is a nice full tree. While Pat, Ally and I set up the tree, Laurie drove to South Station to pick up Molly coming from New York, and we began the decorating in earnest. The girls, especially, manage to keep everyone laughing dancing about to the strains of The Nutcracker Suite.
On Christmas Eve, we headed to my mom's new house in Walpole for the afternoon and evening.
Nephew Stuart Hardie with Cheryl and Carlie
Carlie curled up with big brother Stephen
Laurie laughing at something nephew Nick has come up with.
Finally, back to home and the annual stocking photo ritual, which Althea makes sure is done just right (i.e., the same as every year).
The mantle decked out in its final form.
The stockings are hung with the creche set up in front.
The tree with its presents, pristine before the morning mayhem!