These last couple weeks have been extremely busy for me... for the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I was non-stop writing papers and catechetical curriculums. (curricula? curriculae?) Over break, I did next-to-no homework, and instead spent my time with family and friends. I had some great conversations and was able to catch my breath from all the work I'd been doing at school. Once I stepped back onto campus, though, I hit the ground running and was back into crazy amounts of school work.
Yesterday I attended my last classes of the semester and am currently trying to motivate myself to start studying for finals. It's so hard for me to believe that the semester is 6 days from being over. Before then, I have 4 graphic design projects to turn in, 3 exams, a large Mass to prepare for and help with, a Household Christmas party, decorating the chapel for Christmas, and plenty of packing. 7 days from today I'll be home, attempting to wade through everything I brought home and put it away in a timely manner. And then, let the Christmassy preparations begin!
I'm a firm believer in letting the Christmas season begin on Christmas Eve. The mall decorations and Christmas music starting in October grate on my nerves and make me cringe.
But I love advent. The gift-planning, food-making, tree-decorating, and Advent-song-singing are just all little reminders of what we're really preparing for. I think this is the only time when our house changes a lot. Some families decorate for every holiday, but usually we stick to the small table-top pumpkins and moderate bouquets of flowers.
At Christmas, though, the house transforms. Holly garlands on the banisters and in the chandeleir, wreaths on the door and over the fireplace, wooden signs made by my uncle on the bookshelf, lights on the front bushes, and of course, the advent wreath on the table and the tree in the family room. Then the baking and cooking start. Nannie's cranberry bread, and cheese balls and spinach and artichoke dip. Mom and Dad and I run around the house, trailing ribbons and scraps of paper, hiding plastic bags of presents from each other in places no one else thinks the other will look.
Essentially, I can't wait to enter into this preparation.
And maybe listen to a little Piano Guys while I'm at it...