This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 74 (Christmas Tree Edition!)



We got our Christmas Tree! Although I love the symbolism of waiting until Christmas Eve to set up the tree…I just can’t wait that long. So we always go with Daniel’s family to cut down a tree in mid-December and then we string the lights up but wait to add ornaments until Christmas Eve. Benjamin loves it and Lucy was old enough this year to really be excited, too. And yes, we’re all in short sleeves because….Florida.

photo-289“I yike dis one,” says Lucy.


I think we’re all looking at the wrong camera. Oh, well.

I can’t believe how much bigger the kids look compared to last year.

Coming Up in the Liturgical Year: Gaudete Sunday tomorrow . Do you do anything special? We don’t have any traditions for it yet, so I’d love to hear about what your family does!

Thank You!: Thank you bunches for using my amazon affiliate link to do your Christmas shopping. Really, thank you so much. We really appreciate it! (If you didn’t know, you can use my link to Amazon to do your shopping and I will receive a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you.) And a big thank you also to everyone who has been buying our book! A lot of you have told me that you bought it as a Christmas gift for family and there should still be time to order in time for Christmas (ebook or print version)!

On the Homestead:


I’m currently obsessed with these grain-free chocolate chip cookies from Stephanie’s gluten-free baking cookbook and these gluten-free dairy-free cornbread muffins. I just substituted a cup of oat four flour for the gf baking mix and coconut oil for the Earth Balance. Seriously, so good!

Lately at Carrots:

Santa, Yoda, and the Persistence of Childhood Magic–a little post by Daniel. And be sure to read the comments because there were lots of good insights!

What Happened to Christian Art (Why Is CCM So Awful?)–It looks like this post ruffled some feathers. Be assured that I will be sharing a post with tons of options for great music that don’t include Miley Cyrus (which, let it be known, is not your only option if you’re looking to branch out from the contemporary Christian music industry.) I absolutely love this amazing piece by Dana Gioia who writes on Catholic art in more depth and more eloquently than anything I could ever come up with. It’s a long piece, but definitely worth your time:

Whenever the Church has abandoned the notion of beauty, it has lost precisely the power that it hoped to cultivate — its ability to reach souls in the modern world. . . . Current Catholic worship often ignores the essential connection between truth and beauty, body and soul, at the center of the Catholic worldview. The Church requires that we be faithful, but must we also be deaf, dumb, and blind? I deserve to suffer for my sins, but must so much of that punishment take place in church?” – Dana Gioia

The Quotable Benjamin:

“Eatin’ sandwiches with your family….it doesn’t get much better than that.”

After particularly scrumptious GF blueberry muffins:
Benjamin: “Daddy is the best cook EVER!” *paused to consider* “Well, actually, I guess Jesus is the best cook ever.” *shrug, continues muffin snarfing*

Me: You need to apologize for your bad behavior during rest time.
Benjamin: I’m sorry for my not-so-good behavior during rest time.

“Lucy has tomato soup running down her face like a volcano of lava.” (He wasn’t wrong.)

The Quotable Lucy:

Me: Please be more careful with your grits, Benjamin, so they don’t get all over the floor.
Lucy: Yeah! You could slip and hurt yourself, Benjamin! Did you hear dat, my brother?


Stay tuned for a great giveaway of Usborne books!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!



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  1. MC says

    Gaudete Sunday growing up meant the Christmas books and music came out of hiding. We always looked forward to that! But no decorating until Christmas Eve – my parents are Christmas-Eve-Christmas-Tree people all the way. Partly for the symbolic meaning and partly because it’s the cheapest way to get a real tree.

  2. says

    We celebrate Gaudete Sunday by putting the ornaments on our tree. I just can’t wait until Christmas Eve, but I feel like doing it on Gaudete Sundsy is somewhat liturgically appropriate. If you’re looking for something easy to celebrate the day, maybe you could wait to put lights on your tree until then?

    (I know I’m a couple days late. But there’s always next year!)

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