Have a blessed and happy day.
Have a blessed and happy day.
Advent 2020 begins on Sunday, November 29th. Which gives me more or less four weeks to get ready. In order for Advent to be a peaceful and faithful time I like to get as much of the Christmas prep out of the way as possible. So in the four weeks leading up to Advent I have this plan.
Week 1 – Lists and Inventory
Week 2 – Deep Cleaning and Organize
Week 3 – Shopping
Week 4 – Thanksgiving and Prep
This week we are making lists and taking inventory. We have a list of the things we want to do during Advent and put events on the family calendar, a list of crafts that we want to make and a shopping list for what we need. Any parties we are wanting to host and what we need for them. Menus, cookie baking, candy making and Christmas giving as well.
This is also the week for taking inventory of what we have and what we might want to let go of and what we might want to add. Make sure we have Advent candles. I also like to do a walk through of the house and add any small fixes or repairs that need to happen for next week.
Deep cleaning and Organizing is pretty straight forward. (weather permitting we will put lights on the house but not start turning them on until after Thanksgiving. ) During this we will go through toys, cloths and craft supplies and get rid of anything that we can. Anything we find we will need can get added to our lists.
Shopping week we will go through our lists and order any gifts that we need. My goal is to have Christmas shopping done this week so that I am not doing the stress shopping thing during December. We also buy non-perishables that we will need for baking and cooking and anything that is on our shopping lists and of course, Thanksgiving dinner shopping.
Thanksgiving week is basically set aside for the big feast, and making Advent wreaths, setting up the Advent calendar and family time. We don’t do Black Friday shopping.
Which all leads into a more peaceful Advent that we can focus on the birth of our Savior and making happy family memories.
We finished up our ballots and sent them off. I pray that our country will find peace and that people will remember that those who disagree with them are still our brothers and sisters in Christ and deserving of respect – even when they are dead wrong on many issues.
You haven’t been remote working and you haven’t been homeschooling since Covid-19 broke out. What you have been doing is trying to work from home in a crisis and trying to help your kids finish the school year (or start an new one) at home with no time to prepare. What we have been doing the past few months is as close to Remote work and homeschooling as getting washed up on a desert island after the boat had sunk is to going on an island vacation. There was no plan, no structure, no real support and no idea when you would be rescued or how that would happen.
You haven’t failed
Let’s start with the simple truth, no matter how bad last spring was for your kids you haven’t failed. But this situation has been so hard on so many kids. They are missing their friends, activities, milestones – life. And they are stuck at home trying to follow lesson plans and do zoom meetings in a vacuum. And it is so hard.
One of the boogie-men that homeschoolers are often confronted with is “What about socialization?” frequently asked in random grocery store check-out lanes from probably well-meaning strangers, accompanied by a smile that confirms they have played the ultimate “gotcha” card. But now this is actually a real question. Even veteran homeschoolers have had a hard time. We are used to play dates, field trips, enrichment classes and dances. Summer camp and team sports have been cancelled. Socialization is suddenly a real concern.
This might not be over yet. The first school to reopen this year had to worry about infect students after the very first day. This doesn’t bode well for us being able to go back to any semblance of normal anytime soon. Families who have shifted their plans to homeschool in the fall are actually in a better place at this point than families that are waiting for the schools to figure out what is happening. (this goes for businesses too)
5 things you can do to make this fall better
With prayer and love our families will navigate moving forward.
Lizzy is doing her part to keep people healthy (even though she hates wearing the mask)
I have no idea why so many people are so against the very simple act of wearing a mask when they are out in public. Right now we are facing a very uncertain health situation, and while you might be certain that this is a “plandemic” or “over-blown” the fact remains that we have a public health situation that is possibly deadly to a portion of the population. Our brothers and sisters. Our fellow citizens. If you skip the politicians and just look at the best science information that we have here is what you know. Covid-19 will likely not kill you if you get it, and you probably won’t get it in the first place. And if you do get it your symptoms could range from almost nothing to organ damage.
I am shocked to see that some of the same people who will not vaccinate their children because of a 1 in a million rate of vaccine related injury rate will blithely yet firmly assert their right to not wear a mask. Who really wants to run the risk of passing an infection to someone else? Why not do everything you can, especially when it is something so easy.
So this is my two cents (despite the coin shortage) based on the fact that I have two children who work in grocery stores. They are deemed essential workers and they go to work. And they have to check out your groceries.
You do not wear a mask to protect you. If you are going to get ill it will most likely be because you touched a surface and then your face. You wear a mask to protect others. You can be contagious and not feel that sick or even know you are. Your mild symptoms might be dismissed in your need to buy cereal or laundry soap. So you go out and if you are not wearing a mask every sneeze, every cough, every wheeze could be “sharing the plague”. And that young man or young woman checking you out at the grocery store could bring home a virus and infect a medically fragile sibling or a grandparent.
There are some very few people that due to allergies, skin or breath issues or past trauma have problems wearing masks. If that is you realize I do not have a problem with that and you have nothing but my sympathy. It is the person walking through Costco bellowing about “sheeple” and their “rights” that I take issue with. Sure you have a right to not wear a mask — or clothing at all for that matter — but please just wear it. It is not a government conspiracy to get control and impliment the new world order and start herding Christians into camps – wearing a mask is a simple kindness you can perform for your fellow man. A corporal act of mercy to protect those who are medically fragile. And act of Christian self-mortification for the protection of others. And it help keep my kids from bringing home a virus that could kill my mother.
So please — it shouldn’t be that difficult.
You might think the COVID-19 concerns are panic and overblown – or you might think that we aren’t doing enough fast enough. The reality is probably somewhere in between, but I want to take a minute here to plead with our church leaders to think through what coronavirus can mean for your parish.
Some quick facts:
Your parishioners are probably older. Sure we all want to think we belong to the one fabulously vibrant youthful parish, but the truth is that you have a lot of the 65+ crowd in your pews every Sunday.
You bring people in the community who normally aren’t together into the same space every mass.
Your children are germ machines.
People touch things and each other at Mass, they sneeze, they cough – they spread diseases.
Just think of this scenario: Little Bobby goes to school and contracts coronavirus from a classmate on Friday. He is asymptomatic, but he is carrying the virus. He sneezes into his hands on the way to mass because he is 6 and six-year-olds do that sort of thing. Mom and dad are busy talking about the fact that the big game they have tickets to this weekend was canceled – no one thinks to wash their hands before entering the chapel. The family enters the church and Bobby places a finger into the holy water and makes the sign of the cross, he touches three pews on the way to his seat, he runs his hands over the back of the pew in front of him. He shakes Susan’s hand at the sign of peace. Susan lives in the retirement community across the street. In three days she will be showing signs of illness, in 14 days most of the people living in her community will have COVID-19 and several of them will die.
This is not unlikely.
If your Bishop has not taken the brave and prudent step to suspend mass what can you reasonably do?
At the very least
If you are in a parish and your priest in not taking measures like this what can you do?
Some helpful links:
If this is Friday dinner you are missing the point of fasting.
Yes, I have actually seen someone recommend Lobster bisque for Friday in Lent. That just isn’t fasting. I mean I suppose it is technically allowed, but still seems to go against the spirit of what you are supposed to be doing.
This is a beautiful and peaceful video exploring the world through a Coptic monk.
If you, like me, struggle with getting through a novena (it still counts if you skip one day and double up the next, right?) you might want to try a wonderful prayer tool called Pray More Novenas. Currently, I am on day 3 for the St. Peregrine Novena