Although we don't go to parties, go shopping or go to Christmas concerts, Advent and the days immediately leading up to Christmas are always busy times in the monastery. Visitors stop by, often long-time friends who have moved away but are in the area for Christmas. Our friends and benefactors spoil us with many treats that come in through the front door, the side door and the parlor door, sometimes all at the same time!
There are gifts to prepare for our volunteers, employees and the doctors and others who give us their services gratis throughout the year so of course, there is the Great Stollen Bake! For years this has been the project of master bakers Sr. Mary Catharine and Sr. Judith Miryam. This year, Sr. Judith was "downsized" and the novitiate sisters took over—literally!
And no matter how often we say that we will not wait until the last minute to decorate the monastery, we do! Christmas Eve finds Sisters all over the place: chapel, choir, community room and kitchen, preparing for the celebration of our Lord's birth. Somehow (the help of our angels?) it all gets finished just in time for First Vespers.
Below is a slide show of some photos from this last week and Christmas day. Mostly they are of the novitiate sisters as the professed have become quite adept at avoiding the camera!