Today in the USA we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. With that, the Christmas season comes to an end.
(One) It’s time … to take down the Christmas tree.
This is me, with a big case of the “I don’t wannas.” I put the tree up, strung all the lights, and decorated it all by myself this year. (Normally I do the lights, because nobody else in the house is willing to bother with a Christmas-light total that has a comma in the number, and the kids decorate. Empty-nest problems.)
I’m back at work, but my husband is still using his banked “use or lose” vacation time and my college student has another week of winter break. I think this task needs to be delegated this year.
(Two) And put it in the body bag.
The bag for this Christmas tree is 5 feet tall, and so wide it barely fits through the exterior doors of the house. We keep our tree in the shed. This year I’m going to be smart about it. It’s easier to carry the 5 pieces of the tree down the stairs, out the back door, and through the porch to the backyard and THEN put them in the body bag than it is to bag everything up in the living room and wrestle it outside without damaging anything.
(Three) On the up side, I’ll get my living room back.
As a creature of habit, it does drive me crazy that I have to move my Reading Chair every year to make room for the Christmas tree. I look forward to putting that chair back by the window, with its lamp nearby, the way it belongs.
(Four) My reputation precedes me.
Overheard after Mass yesterday, when the usher came over to hand bulletins to the musicians:
Singer: Oh, Mass tomorrow is for my mom, but I can’t be there because I have an appointment.
Music director: Barb will be there! She’ll pray for your mom!
Join me in praying for the repose of the soul for Mrs. B, would you?
(Five) Regarding Mass intentions
Do you pay attention to the list of Mass intentions in your parish bulletin? It’s not just there for the people who go to daily Mass. You can pray for the repose of those souls whether you attend daily Mass or not. Consider adding that prayer after a meal, just like we used to do after lunch in the Catholic grade school I attended:
We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, Almighty God, who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
(Six) Tonight, swap out the breviary!
Don’t forget to move the holy cards! If you pray the Liturgy of the Hours using the 4-volume breviary, tonight after Evening Prayer you’ll need to bring out the Ordinary Time I volume and put away Advent/Christmas.
My husband likes Ordinary Time I because it means summer is coming. I’m not ready to think that far ahead (after 7 weeks we’re switching again, into the Lent/Easter volume) but his particular liturgical year revolves around the opening of the pool, conveniently timed right around Holy Saturday if it doesn’t rain that day.
(Seven) Book News
There’s a great sale right now on The Handy Little Guide to Prayer: it’s more than 50% off on Amazon right now! There’s no better time to order a copy for yourself or your friends.
If you’ve read this Handy Little Guide, would you kindly do me a favor and leave an Amazon review? One sentence is plenty; those reviews help other Amazon customers who are thinking about what book to purchase AND they help get the book in front of other readers in Amazon’s recommendations section. Thanks!
In other book news, my next book comes out in less than three months! You can preorder The Handy Little Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours now (and if the price drops before the release date, you’ll get it at the lower price). Did take 6 leave you puzzled? This new book will explain it all.
Copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Photos copyright 2023 Barb Szyszkiewicz, all rights reserved.
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