Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Liturgical New Year!

The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new year on the Church's Liturgical calendar.  We light the first candle on the Advent wreath, which counts the number of Sundays until the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Day). 

There are debates about the origins of the Advent wreath.. some say it is a German Lutheran tradition, some argue a German Catholic tradition.  Personally, it makes no difference to me.  Lutherans share some Liturgical similarities with Catholics, so it would be natural for our two traditions to share this symbol of Advent.

Originally, it is said, the colors of the candles on the wreath were all red.  This practice is still maintained in Germany... and even the Holy Father's Advent wreath used all red candles last year (he being from Bavaria).  It was some time later that the candles of the wreath corresponded to the liturgical colors of the Sundays of Advent to bring an even closer association of the holiday symbols with the Mass.

The first candle that we lit this Sunday corresponds to the Liturgical vestments of purple, the color of penance as well as royalty to welcome the coming of the King.  The purple reminds us to prepare ourselves through prayer and penance to make our souls ready not only for the celebration of the birth of Christ, but His second coming at the end of time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Need a little Christmas NOW!

Work has been getting to me lately.  I've been working at the big W full time and though it helps on pay day, it takes its toll on my nerves.  People are just so nasty and rude... it really wears one down.

So like the song says, "I need a little Christmas now...".  So I decided I would "haul out the holly" and "put up the tree before my spirits fall again."

I do have a full size tree in the sitting room on my TINY - micro apartment within my parent's home, but I had always loved the old aluminum trees from the 1950s and 1960s.  I would never want one as my only tree, but there is just something about them I always liked.

This year, while visiting a local nursery famous for their Christmas decor, I came across a 3ft aluminum style Christmas tree that I went nuts for.  I have seen many silver trees over the years, but they don't have the sparse look of the original style aluminum trees (and yes, they were aluminum.. made out of aluminum foil).  When I saw this little silver gem.. I had to bring it home with me.  I always loved the Charlie Brown trees.

The problem was: where to put it?  It ended up finding a home in my bedroom... where I spend a lot of my time lately at my desk.  I decided to put it up now and decorate it since I needed a little holiday boost.  It turned out rather nice if you ask me... shining in all it's silver glory.

Also, when I got home from work... tired and cranky from a long day in retail Hell... I noticed a red light coming from my sitting room window.  Puzzled, I looked in the window, and there... on the shelf.. was a Santa "head" that I had liked from a recent QVC show selling retro inspired Christmas decorations.  My Mom had bought it for me as a surprise, and left it on a shelf in the sitting room lit up.

Again, it's so odd looking it's cute.  The large sized light bulb nose is so ridiculous it makes me laugh just looking at it.  My Dad and I refer to it as the "red light district Santa" for obvious reasons.

This little surprise made my day!!!

"For I've grown a little leaner (I wish!!!), grown a little colder.. grown a little sadder.. grown a little older. And I need a little angel.. sitting on my shoulder... I need a little Christmas NOW!"