I was given a CD of Gregorian chant to review before Christmas, but, Advent being the busy time that it is, I hardly had time to listen to it. I played it a couple of times, but it was drowned out by the mayhem.
It's A Blessed Day Has Dawned by the St. Vincent Camarata Scholars, and directed by Fr. Stephen Concordia.
It's a really beautiful CD that centers around Palestrina's Missa: Dies Sanctificatus. As we near Epiphany and the end of the Christmas season, I'm finding this music a great way to maintain the peace and calm that comes with Christmas. The music is amazing; I've never heard a Palestrina Mass that I didn't like! The voices alternately soar and blend beautifully creating a sound that at the same time calms and lifts the soul to God.
If you like Gregorian Chant, or know someone who does, I highly recommend this CD. This is their first recording and we want them to continue making them if all their efforts are this good!
On a mellow Christmas Day (or was it Christmas Eve?) we sat around the table and painted our new Jesse Tree ornaments. I'm very pleased with how they turned out. We didn't get the whole set made, so we'll have to buy some more sculpting clay to make the rest---probably next Advent.
In case you're wondering, we used the Crayola Modeling clay for our ornaments. It was nice to skip the step of making salt dough and not having to bake it. It was very easy to work with.
I ran into a friend yesterday and we were talking about how hard it is to enjoy the Christmas season with the rest of the Catholic Church when the whole world has packed it up and put it away.
We decided that we should save all cookie baking for Christmas. Now, I generally make lots of cookies and make the kids wait for Christmas to eat them, but they're definitely gone within a day or two or Christmas! Next year, we're thinking we'll make a new batch of cookies or treats each day of the 12 days of Christmas. That way we can keep celebrating and eating too much, but it's spread out over the whole Christmas season.
Speaking of packing up Christmas on the 26th...doesn't that just make you sad? It makes me sad, but it's so much worse than that....think about spending a month or more in a frenzy of activity...parties, shopping, baking, fighting crowds, and generally being cranky...only to find that the holiday is over already! Kind of like spending all day in the kitchen, exhausting yourself, to prepare a sumptuous feast that is eaten in 15 minutes and not suitably appreciated by the diners.
I much prefer "preparing" for Christmas and the coming of our Savior as slowly, and peacefully as I can, and enjoying it as long as possible.
So, in that vein, I'm trying really, really hard not to get caught up in the "clean it up and get organized" mayhem that is the week after Christmas. Maybe it's not that bad the first week of Christmas, but it really builds in intensity once we get to the first of the year!
That said, it's time to go watch a(nother) Christmas movie with the kids and crochet on my homeless mat.
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