Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent Link-Up

The ever lovely Julie made this Advent link up so I am going to give it a go. I know I wrote about my Advent plans for my last post but this is more for those who like to see things in pictures. You know who you are, tl;dr crowd.

Advent Wreath

We've had our Advent wreath for a couple of years now. This year was the first that mom blessed it; previous years it had been me. I am sure we'll have this for a couple more years to come. :)


I am currently reading this little booklet which I got from Aquinas and More this week (which, it seems, they're out of). As for other books, though December is typically my Jane Austen month, I'm going to move it to January. At the moment I'm rereading the Chronicles of Narnia for the *I lost count*-th time. I like to read them in chronological order so I'm currently on the fourth book, Prince Caspian. Every time I read the series my favorite changes. Right now The Horse and His Boy is my favorite but we'll see when I'm done with all of them. 


Because we live in an apartment, we try to use the space we have to make it look bigger and thus we don't go crazy with decorations. We have the Nativity, the Advent wreath, and I'll eventually make a "Christmas tree" by stacking Christmas cards on my desk. That's about it, at least for Advent.

Favorite Movies and Music

This is my first year without cable since I was about 5 years old so I am missing all the sappy chick flicks on the Hallmark Channel (which I am sucker for). This time of year is the time on which I watch Elf, Gone with the Wind, and a number of Hallmark movies which we either own or have access to via Roku.

As for music, I am avoiding Christmas music so it's mostly classical and jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Jimmy Durante, Duke Ellington, etc.) for now. There's something about the cold weather that always seems to put me in a mood for a cup of tea and some Ella Fitzgerald.

Feast Days

I'm a fan of all the major feasts that fall during the Advent period.
- St. Nicholas: one of my favorite heretic punchers. ;) I come from a traditional Hispanic family so we never did the shoe thing (though we do make a big deal out of the Epiphany) but it's something I'm keeping in mind for my future babies.
- Immaculate Conception: a favorite for obvious reasons. Today is the last day of the novena and I'm sad because it's one of my favorites to do during the year (along with the St. Andrew Christmas novena).
- Our Lady of Guadalupe: I'm part Mexican so this is a no brainer. ;) In the past couple of years, one of our neighbors (who sadly moved this year) organized this huge party to which all the neighbors in the apartment complex were invited as long as you were Catholic and/or had respect for Our Lady. She paid for the food, hired the mariachi, and everyone just celebrated big.
- St. Lucy: A couple of years ago I had a dream that I had my hair in braids and had an actual wreath with lit candles on my head, heading into a darkened church... much like many little girls do in Europe (haven't seen this in the U.S.) I'm going to attempt to bake her bread this year, too. 

The Nativity

The picture above was taken at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, out here in L.A., a couple of years ago. (Please ask before taking it and posting it elsewhere.) Ours is a bit different... and temporary. We have a "baby" Nativity because many of our neighbors who stop by have small children. Until we find one that we both agree on (mom and I have different tastes), we'll keep using it. I definitely enjoy adding to it throughout Advent.

St. Nick and Santa Claus

I'm obviously too old to believe in Santa Claus (er, I mean, he totally exists...) but I've been seeing how my friends have handled the St. Nick vs Santa Claus with their little ones. My parents allowed me to believe that Santa Claus was real until some point in elementary school (not sure when). However, they also did a good job and driving home the point that I wouldn't always get what I wanted because "Santa" sometimes couldn't get it for me. I like to think that it helped me not be selfish when it comes to Christmas presents... or presents in general. I think it's too early to know what I'll do with my own kids (if and when they come). However, I am enjoying seeing the pictures of my adopted nieces and nephews with Santa. Also, NO ONE is allowed to get me anything this year. You hear me, Angelica? Yes, I'm calling you out on the blog. lol. 


I think I've covered much of the traditions we have already. When my dad was alive, he used to go into this amazing cooking mode (he worked for a chef for a while) so the house was always filled with delicious scents. Mom and I are still trying to set our own traditions. Oh! I have one: every year we go back and forth on attending her work's Christmas party because every year, since I was a teenager, I've had the unpleasant task of dodging creepy older men's invites to dance or chat solo, away from the crowd. Hopefully I'll get a break this year. 


HUGE food month for us. I go into baking mode so we have a lot of fattening foods in our kitchen throughout the season. Our downstairs neighbor makes delicious tamales so we get spoiled there as well. I'm hoping to use my final freelance writing check to treat some of the homeless in the area to some warm cups of coffee, tea, and other food that might be in the area. 


I screen capped this today. It was cold and rainy... and absolutely lovely despite the pain I endured when I left the house to pick up mom from work. The lows this week have been in the 30s (and it dropped to 29 earlier this week). The high didn't quite reach 56 (it was 51) but this is pretty typical Advent weather for us in Southern California. I hope to one day get myself an actual white Christmas as I have never experienced snow.

And that is all for now. See? Quick and relatively painless. ;) I hope y'all are having a good Advent thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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