The weekly “little of this, little of that” feature here at Like Mother, Like Daughter! (This will all look and work better if you click on the actual post and do not remain on the main page.)
Maybe in the next week or so you will have a little time to check out the few links I have here.
Is it not so wonderful that we have an Octave of Christmas (a real version of that proverbial “month of Sundays”!) and Twelve Days of Christmas and the Christmas Season! Plenty of time to bask in it all and enjoy the fruits of all our preparations and visiting with friends!
And also send out Christmas cards… ahem.
Tonight, when some more of our family will have arrived, we will decorate the tree.
Bridget and I have had a lovely week of relatively calm time to get things ready. I still find myself wondering why, if I’m going to freeze my babkas etc, did I not make them in early December. But, hey ho.
(Not pictured: a freezer full of breads, pie crusts (for that tourtière I linked to last week!) and more cookie dough that Habou will attend to today!)
I pray that you have a happy Christmas time! God bless you all!
Some links for you:
- A really long piece about the Blessed Virgin, via Anglo-Saxon O Antiphon poetry. We need to be studying what the Church has always taught about her (and continues to teach in the Liturgy) because our contemporary commentators often have a hold of the wrong end of the stick.
“The idea of Mary as the ‘gate to heaven’ (porta caeli), and the ‘ladder to heaven’ (scala caeli) are both metaphors with an ancient history, but to modern ears they can be surprising.”
Because we are caught in the therapeutic mode of our modern culture, we tend to reduce transcendent realities to projections of the self, ironically destroying, in the process, the very road (or door! or gate!) to freedom and truth. Yes, the intimate relatability of Mary can help our spiritual life, but if that is the only lens through which we ever view her, we are missing out on the bigger picture.
- Misunderstanding Mary leads us to misunderstand Christmas. We make the mistake of thinking that the Liturgical Year is a mere commemoration, rather than a living contact with the past. We begin to believe that Christmas is something we outgrow; that the childlike wonder that loses itself in simple adoration before the crèche is an unworthy response. We start to see Christianity itself as a sort of elevated social program and ourselves as mature operators whose meaning can only be found on the plane of activism. But the soul of the apostolate is deep contemplation and utter prostration before the Other, the unreachable God who became Man, but not man as God King — at least not until he was first the helpless Babe, yes, in a manger. I loved this article by Elizabeth Anderson, The Wisdom in Wonder: Children at Christmas Time — a good antidote to the self-affirmation of approaching Christmas as yet another opportunity to preach the social gospel.
- I never knew how to do Christmas Eve. This article about the Polish wigilia tradtion is inspiring; it’s not that we have to do every little thing according to one country’s customs, but using the main ideas and reflections as a template could be very helpful for those who are struggling with no traditions at all to fall back on!
- For no particular reason at all — just some decorating eye candy (and maybe inspiration for the coming new year? Even just that adorable orphan teacup-turned-scoop in the glass bin on the counter?): Pantry in Progress from Homespun Living.
From the archives:
- If you are getting overwhelmed with how overwhelmed your children are about to be, consider holding back some of the treats to bring out during the Twelve Days of Christmas: My plan for making Christmas less, not more, stressed.
- Plan some low-key visiting with friends and family next week or the week after: Deirdre’s easy Hot Cocoa Party is a great way to do it.
While you’re sharing our links with your friends, why not tell them about Like Mother, Like Daughter too!
We’d like to be clear that, when we direct you to a site via one of our links, we’re not necessarily endorsing the whole site, but rather just referring you to the individual post in question (unless we state otherwise).