Saturday 24 December 2016

Getting Into The Festive Spirit...

20161221_151954I haven't had a real tree at home since the arrival of my two kitties in 2010. Having to remove kittens from trees and avoid stepping on bits of smashed Christmas tree bauble is not my idea of fun. However, the cats are rather more sedate these days (ie. too lazy to trash Christmas trees) and as most of my neighbours appear to have gone all-out on the fairy lights theme, I had a real hankering for a proper tree of my own.

Once again, I left its acquisition a little late. The problem is that I don't feel "Christmassy" until around Gaudete Sunday. The tradition in my family was to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve - but my mother bought the tree some time before that, and left it outside until the big day. But that's just not possible for me now.

I therefore nearly had to resort to another dwarf Alberta Spruce, as I couldn't find any "proper" Christmas trees. Finally a sales assistant in one shop brought out their last potted Blue Spruce with a slightly embarrassed air. It was easy to see why the tree hadn't been bought by anyone else: it was seriously lopsided and had several "bald" branches. It was such a sorry sight that the assistant even offered to reduce the price...


Once home, I trimmed the branches a bit and positioned the tree carefully so the lopsidedness was less apparent. Then I unearthed my collection of Christmas decorations. Cardinal Furretti demonstrated a keen interest in tinsel and had to be discouraged from batting at the baubles. Monsignor Miaowrini, on the other hand, was fast asleep.


Unfortunately I seemed to have lost my tree lights... I tried to find a small set of white lights, but the only ones available seemed to be coloured (or in strings of 100 or more; way too many lights for my tiny tree!)

After a couple of days without lights, I decided that blue lights were better than no lights, and so went out and bought some.


It's now Christmas Eve, and I've said Vespers. As I'm going to have a short nap before going out to Midnight Mass, I have put the baby into the Crib and positioned my wise men across the room, ready to start their travels...



Here's wishing all my readers a very happy Christmas!

Sunday 18 December 2016


IMG_20161218_152559 We are now on the home straight as far as Advent is concerned: last Sunday was Gaudete Sunday, when rose vestments brought a little lighter note to the seasonal preparations. At St. Austin & St. Gregory the members of the regular Latin Mass schola had a week off due to the visit of Cantabo Dominum; and the congregation got to listen to some good "tunes."


The O Antiphons started yesterday, and so today we sang Veni, veni, Emmanuel, which I love. Today we also had our children's Crib Service, which was the first opportunity I have had for singing Christmas carols - and now I am beginning to feel all Christmassy.


I think it is time to dig out the box with all my Christmas decorations and the crib from the bottom of my wardrobe. I am even contemplating a Christmas tree... I haven't had one since I adopted Cardinal Furretti and Monsignor Miaowrini, as I thought they would possibly view it as a challenge to see who could get to the top and/or a kitty-scratching post. They have left this year's Advent wreath unscathed, however, so maybe they have reached the point when they are too indolent to clamber up fir trees in pursuit of pretty glass baubles.

Then again...

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