It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . .

Blessed Advent!  Today is the first Sunday in the Christian season of Advent, one of the most meaningful times of the year for me.  Traditionally, the Advent season has called believers from a time of dark and hopeless night to joyful expectation of the coming Light.  Certainly, we can hear the longing in such hymns as "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and "Come Thou Long-expected Jesus," as the Israelites waited for God's Redeemer in the first Advent, or coming, of the Christ.  How much more we wait and yearn today for the second Advent, when Christ will reign as King and sin will be destroyed!

And so, this time of waiting and anticipating becomes a time of preparation.  Practically speaking, that looks like cleaning house.  And today, after church, that's what we did.  Mr. T&C and Little took care of the windows, while I put away all the fall/Thanksgiving decorations.  Then, some mopping, dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing (those Mr. Clean erasers really work, by the way) to finish the job.  Now, no one much likes to pile Christmas decorations into a dirty house, but to have the mind-set of "getting ready," well, to me, it makes a world of difference.  So, the house is clean and waiting.

I  sat down Thanksgiving night and sneezed seven times straight.  A cold.  I worked all day Friday, but by five o'clock I had the chills and all the bones in my face ached.  Sinus infection.  I went straight to bed, and Saturday I stayed home while the Mister, Big, Middle, and Little went to get our Christmas tree.  We always go to the same little tree farm in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina.  I was bitterly disappointed that I didn't get to go, but they chose a beautiful tree, a Frasier fir, and it's on our deck, waiting.

Tonight, I made some turkey chili and enjoyed the clean house and thought it would be smart to make some kind of Christmas something, so I made two rolls of Cranberry-Pecan shortbread cookie dough, a slight modification of the cookies in the December issue of Southern Living (  To glam them up slightly, I shaped them in squares and then pressed each side in crystal decorator's sugar before wrapping them in parchment, sealing in a Ziploc bag, and putting them in the freezer.  To wait.

Then, the Mister and I settled into the den to watch the original Miracle on 34th Street.  How fun to see New York City as it was in 1947; part of the movie was actually filmed on two floors of Macy's.  My favorite line belongs to one of the movie's most minor characters, Mrs. Shellhammer.  Slightly smashed on martinis, she bubbles, "Why we'd love to have Santy Claus stay with us!  It would be simply charming."   We only watch that movie once a year, and it's always worth the wait.

So many things are.


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