{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Dec. 13, Feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr.  When her mother was cured at the shrine of Saint Agatha, Lucy vowed chastity for Christ.  When the Roman prefect ordered her violated among prostitutes, God made her stand firm, and not a soul could move her from that place.  They then tried to burn her--she survived.  At last, she was pierced in the throat with a sword.  St. Lucy is patroness against hemorrhages, blindness, dysentery, eye disease, and throat infections; she is patroness of blind people, laborers, peasants, salesmen, stained glass workers, authors, and writers.  Happy Saint Lucia Day!


Each winter, I cut more snowflakes from white pieces of printer paper.  I may make five, or I may make dozens, but they're fun, easy, inexpensive, and fruitful crafting for children who are old enough to hold a pair of scissors without hurting themselves.  At the end of winter (sometime after Valentine's Day), I put them away and save them for next year.  The collection grows and grows, and I hope some day to have enough to decorate each window pane, cabinet door, mirror, and suspend them from a ceiling in a paper blizzard.


The Squirt doesn't quite get this Christmas tree thing.  Throw in that it's hot and humid at a tropical 85 degrees F, and it's going to take a juice box to make this tree-seeker happy.  Good thing I had one (or three) on hand.

Me setting up the "pretty."  I even have my snowflake apron on for good measure (in the non-winter months, it's a Scandinavian apron, so it works for all seasons . . . at least for this Nordic-obsessed Latina).  The Squirt was napping, I had braided Saint Cecilia bread in the oven, liturgical Christmas music on Pandora, and a good hair day going on . . . happy, happy, happy!


CLOSE AZKABAN NOW!!!!  Because, obviously. . . .   [/Harry Potter humor]


Trying to keep things real this Advent doesn't just mean saying no to extra stressors--like skipping Parent Appreciation Night at the childcare Center, neither working nor having my son attend, to spend a quiet evening at home bonding with him--but maybe sacrificing some of those extra, festive events, or even the quiet ones, and putting the smallest of efforts into something that isn't for me and mine.

I knew I could count on my adopted little sisters and their lovely mother to come last minute to an untended house, without expectations of my being a pristine hostess, and share their friendship and time while we did something for those who share their talents, time--and even lives--with us.

The American Red Cross does a Holiday Mail for Heroes program, so we put together some homemade holiday cheer for our servicemen and servicewomen.  December 6th was the last day you could mail cards, but there's always next year!

See more {phfr} at Like Mother, Like Daughter, capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.



  1. No wonder Squirt wasn't interested in helping us pick a tree with today.
    The cards came out beautifully. What a great thing to do with our men and women in uniform.


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