Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas at Last

We really do love Advent, but after 21 days of living in the Advent "bubble" as Christmas explodes all around us, it's time to change over and this is the week! The smell of anise and vanilla is wafting through the house since the big 2-hour pitzelle-making party this week. Complete with unofficial contests on who could make the perfect pitzelle in each waffle iron.

Christmas cards have begun appearing as decorations on doors and other very subtle changes are starting. I even saw a cart of poinsettias going down the hall Monday.

Friday will be the real transition day as we have our annual Trim the Tree party right after supper. It's really a Trim the Whole House time as the whole monastery will be transformed Friday and Saturday. The Dickens village will come out on the buffet in the dining room, as will the train that goes around the ficus tree. The huge manger scene, minus the Christ child and Magi, will go up in the community room and most resident halls will have ribbons or candy canes or some other decoration the length of them.

Only the chapel will remain in its Advent mode...until Monday after morning praise and then it too will transform.

I'm glad Christmas is on a Tuesday. Last year when it was Monday things really were bizarre, there's no other word for it! Saturday night was the last Advent vigil service, Sunday morning was the 4th Sunday of Advent, Sunday night was the Christmas vigil and Monday morning was Christmas Day. Next year the 25th is on Thursday...perfect!