4th Advent Sunday

Well for my 4th Sunday in Advent I had a great time. I had a little party, all for myself. We made wonderful hamburgers and had wonderful treats. I love the lights I had on in my Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

The most important part of my Advent celebration that day was the wonderful feeling that I had of accomplishment for celebrating the Advent each of the four Sundays. I’ve wanted to do that for a very long long time, and I did it! It made me very happy. As someone who loves to celebrate holidays, lots of different kinds, I was happy and excited to be able to do this. It also brought me such a sense of accomplishment, because I had been trying to do some Advent celebrations for many years.

My celebration was only halfway through when I started making plans for the coming year’s Advent celebration. What I really knew from managing to celebrate this year is that it is lots easier for me to have low expectations and to start very very small. Doing it has given me a boost to my self-esteem, accomplishing something new is always a big deal for me and doing this brought me happiness and self-esteem. I hadn’t counted on that, but it has been great. Yes I did something that I wanted to do for a long time.

I plan on slowly to add to the holiday celebration by planning ahead, and starting to get supplies and making a few crafts months in advance.I think that is all doable.

3rd Advent Sunday

I’m happy to say that I have been continuing my Advent Sunday celebrations and enjoying them.

Last Sunday I had decided to change things around a little bit. I chose to have a pizza party for one. I love pizza and since I don’t have it often and didn’t have it for several years due to gluten restrictions, I am glad that I found a great gluten free pizza that is good and affordable as well.

I had a great time. The usual stuff: music, a candle, the manger scene, some Christmas tv specials, the Christmas tree lit up, food I enjoy.

I had been slowly decorating my small apartment for the Christmas season. That always makes me/us very happy. It is amazing to me how much joy a few decorations can bring to me. I have decided like last year I am going to keep up my decorations for a while after the holiday. It brings me joy and I like that.

I think that everyone should feel free to do the little things that bring them joy all through the year and Christmas stuff is something that brings me joy. I know this is a hard thing for survivors of childhood abuse to figure out and to figure out how to do and how to be good to themselves. I think it is an essential part of life and healing to learn how to be good to yourself and to do good self-care.

I hope that you can do something that you enjoy this month and I hope you continue doing something good and happy for yourself in the coming new year. Good and healing thoughts to us all.

1st Advent Sunday

Yesterday was the first day of Advent, the first Sunday to celebrate, and wonderfully, I finally celebrated it.I made a new holiday tradition. I’ve never done it before.

In years past I’ve looked it up online, thought about it, planned on doing it, checked out a couple of  books from the library and sometimes just forgot and sometimes was just too overwhelmed at this time of year and didn’t do anything. As someone who grew up in a family that celebrated Christmas and Easter, they were woefully inadequate when it came to religious or spiritual education, support, mentorship, and membership by my family.

My parents were both raised Christians, but in my childhood, they did not attend church, talk about God or Jesus, teach anything positive or good about God, or be a role model on how to be a good person, a spiritual person, or a religious person. Anything positive would have been helpful. I love celebrating holidays. As a Christian I especially love Christmas time and I think my blog is an obvious example of that.

So I thought that Advent might be a wonderful time to celebrate. What I have learned personally in trying to do something new is: research, plan ahead, lower expectations, make small but enjoyable goals, and be kind to yourself, no matter what.

So this year I did look over a couple of Advent books from the library, as well as a couple of online sites, decided to make my first Sunday of Advent very low key and undemanding.

I thought the idea of a wreath would be so cool. I love the smell and look of pine, but I tend to not buy real and the artificial doesn’t look good enough to me. So I decided not to have a wreath.

I listened to Christmas music all day long. It is kind of my idea of fun most any day of the year, so that went great.

My artificial tree was up, though it was not completely decorated. I usually do that slowly over several days. But I had the Christmas lights lit up all day and I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

I didn’t buy any new candles, yes I thought some purple candles would be ultra cool, I know I’m a total geek when it comes to candles, I love them, but then I decided to make it even more doable, by just using some white tea light candles that I already have. Here’s the thing, I sit down to light the candle and it occurs to me that I don’t have any matches or lighter. I don’t really light candles and it’s weird but I guess I should have planned ahead, right? I had gotten in the habit of living in other people’s houses or shared spaces to not light candles, for safety.

Luckily I had two artificial candles and turned one of those on. I made a great, but easy meal, of food that I enjoy a lot.

Trying to decide on something to read or think about I got overwhelmed, this is kind of where I tend to get overwhelmed, since the celebration is for me alone, and planning on reading devotions tend to overwhelm me, to the point where I can give up on doing stuff, too many things to do.

Instead, I have a small manger scene of young children and I set it up near where I was sitting and while I ate my meal I looked at the scene, looked at the candle, listened to the music, and felt all the feelings of acceptance and love that I feel from God, from Jesus.

And then I had chocolate! It was great. It was the best.

A new holiday tradition, with me at my apartment, with peace and harmony, and love and acceptance. I liked it a lot.

More Advent Presents

We are absolutely incapable of making this toy work. I think it isn’t any fun because of that and is in fact very frustrating to me. However the kids often ask for one. We got this one at the dollar store, so it is not very well made, but they don’t care, they enjoy it and like trying to make the ball bounce off the paddle, even if they aren’t very good at it.

What I have discovered through this process is that if someone wants a toy it is okay to let them have the toy and it is wrong to try to talk them out of it. I have adults do that to me as a child and I always hated and abhorred being treated like that. I don’t always understand why they want something, but I need to set that aside and try to not be rational about it and to try to not speak rationally about it with them. They want it. The store isn’t very well made and it was easy to see that I should try to find a better copy of this toy in another store, they will have a much better chance of learning how to play with it if they have a better built toy.

Erasers, again, but not to be used as erasers. They like them just for having them, for looking at them, and enjoying them, decorations.

I’m not so sure about being able to get the ladybug to roll around a metal can, but it is pretty fun to roll him backwards and watch him go forwards. 🙂

We love puzzles. Some of The Littles love the Disney princesses. Cinderella is our favorite. Though Merida in Brave and Rapunzel in Tangled are strong second and third favorites.

 

More Advent Presents

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These are our advents presents over the last four days. Today we opened another one. See, Pooh is waving hi. Hello darlings.

Pez Advent Presents

I finally checked online and found that Pez is apparently gluten free. For years I have gotten requests for Christmas-related Pez dispensers from some in our system. Usually I put off buying them or forget to check if they are gluten free or just say no. This year, while standing in the store, I thought about all of that and realized I wasn’t paying attention enough to the small requests lately and that they matter, so we got all three kinds of Christmas-related Pez to add to our Advent presents.

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Our Advent Presents, So Far

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Since we didn’t start our Advent calendar until the third The Littles were able to pick out three things, oddly it was the three kinds of Christmas straws. Almost all the time at the dollar store I get asked for straws and almost all the time I don’t get them. They don’t look like the best straws and then I forget to buy them somewhere else. There is the candy cane ones in the middle, there is a lot of love for candy canes in my household. The red and white ones have four Santa heads on them. And the green and red ones have four red sections with twin candy canes. I was right, they aren’t the best straws, but they are well liked by others.

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These four neon colored dinosaurs are well liked as well. Dinosaurs are always well liked here. They are supposed to be erasers, but they were picked out because they are dinosaurs and they are now on the table where our computer is.

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This butterfly is a wind up toy where it moves and the wings go up and down. It is pretty cheaply-made, but for one dollar it is still fun to watch.

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These green and red balls were a great find at the dollar tree store. They were in this little white mesh bag with the name novelty ball. I didn’t know what they were, but I bounced one of them to get a feel for it, to see if it had enough air to bounce good and it started doing this:

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They light up and flash off and on. Needless to say they are a hit at home.