Usually I don't get much of a chance to enjoy Advent. It's always during the last couple weeks of classes and I'm usually distracted and busy! My dad and I used to say we couldn't even think about Christmas until our grades were in. . .
But I must be getting better at this time of the year. This past weekend, for example, I had a wonderful Advent-y time.
Saturday morning I got up early so I could go with my friend Anne to Nature's Noel, an annual fund-raiser sale at the local nature center. Anne goes every year--she even works at the nature center making centerpieces out of freshly-cut greens. She also prides herself on being the first in line at the sale--which begins at 9. So there we were--first in line!--at about 8:20!
I've never been to the sale, so Anne filled me in on what to get. I bought a special decoration--a "kissing ball" which I hung outside from the magnolia tree. Isn't it pretty?
I also got a little Yule log table decoration. I couldn't resist the little bird on it!
The last thing I got was a HUGE bundle of freshly cut greens--branches of fir, yew, and cedar, all of which had been treated with a preservative. I only wanted a few branches to decorate the mantel with, but when I got the big bag, I decided to make some centerpieces myself.
Here they are:
Items like this were $20-30 at the sale. I got the bag o' greens for $4 and the baskets and doodads for about $12. I'll save the baskets and doodads for next year. Making those arrangements was surprisingly fun.
After the sale, I went off to a rehearsal. I played flute at our church's Christmas cantata. The music was very fun--kind of folk-y. The instruments were 2 flutes, acoustic guitar, and percussion. Some of the pieces were slow. "This one reminds me of the Paul Winter consort" said our director about one piece. A couple were fun and upbeat.
I even got to play percussion with one piece, a bossa-nova beat version of O Come O Come Emmanuel. The director gave me claves
and I got a very brief lesson on how to play them from Dennis McPartland, our percussionist, who's a local professional musician! Cool. I think I now want to become a clave player . . .
What a weekend to get me in the Advent frame of mind. It was all good.