Christmas Prep Quick Takes


1. We usually cut down our own Christmas tree, a Texas pine at a tree farm nearby.


Everyone always wants to give the saw a try.


Shorts and t-shirts at the Christmas tree farm!

2. Santa hangs out at the tree farm.

IMG_1867Here Teddy is trying to explain what kind of train track he wants for Christmas. No one had ever asked him that question before, and he just launched into a complicated description of bridges and tracks. It was cute, but he has enough train tracks. 🙂

3. St. Lucy’s Day last Saturday. Lucy means light, and there is a tradition that, before she was executed by the Romans, she delivered food to Christians hiding in the catacombs wearing a crown of candles (thus freeing up her hands to carry more food).


All the famous traditions for St. Lucy’s Day come from Sweden and while we’re not Swedish, they are a fun way to teach the kids about an important saint in the early church. Last year, Marie and I made a St. Lucy Cake for Beginners, and it was a big hit. The kids started talking about our St. Lucy Day breakfast the moment we turned the calendar to December this year.

This year we had cinnamon rolls from a can, with birthday candles on top, and everyone loved it again. While we were eating breakfast, William said, “It seems like we celebrate every country’s traditions…but I like that!” Spoken like a true American.

4. An early Christmas present for me the family–this new-to-us couch!


For some reason, as soon as I became pregnant, I also became sick of our old couch. Like, it made me nauseous to look at it or sit on it. Perhaps it was the memory of all the sick people who have lain on that couch, or the innumerable washings of the seat covers that have left all the zippers broken.

I also suddenly felt like the room’s colors were totally unbalanced, and all the red in that room was making me sick and if I could just get some green into there to balance out the red rug everything would be okay.

Then a mom in our homeschool group posted she was selling a green couch!! The seat cushions are a little worn, but that’s probably a good thing since in the 48 hours we’ve had it, the kids have already put a stain on it. And the armrests are a little high. High as in only an NBA player could ever rest his arm on the armrest. But…it’s green!

5. Something else green in the living room…


6. The kids were horrified to hear me suggest we get rid of “the best couch in the world!” So it’s now tucked in the schoolroom behind all their desks as the permanent “kids couch.”


7. We didn’t do a lot of school this week (did anyone?) but we did introduce the kids to the O Antiphons. They already love the hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel and were interested to learn that it comes from special prayers in the Mass for the week before Christmas. Each prayer uses a different Old Testament title for God. Something new I learned this year is that the prayers were written in Latin in the 7th century, and that the first letter of the Latin titles for God, read in reverse order, is Ero Cras, which means “I will be with you tomorrow.”

And we started off with a bang the first two days and forgot to do it yesterday.

But it’s all good because today is the first day of 2 1/2 weeks of Christmas break!! Linking up with Kelly and all for 7 quick takes.