It's rather easy to live Advent in the monastery for the whole life is really an expression of this longing. We don't go shopping although we do prepare gifts, mostly homemade things, for the people who work for us and certain benefactors but this isn't a big deal. It is a challenge to keep Christmas at it's proper time because, well, we are still a part of the world, and many wonderful people like to stop by before Christmas to wish us the blessings of the feast and to leave many wonderful goodies. So, the temptation can be to put decorations up early, especially when someone says, "Oh, you don't have your wreath up on the door yet!" For us this provides an opportunity to explain why we don't but sometimes it can be tempting to just hang it early and be done with it!
Waiting until the beginning of the Christmas Novena (when we sing the O Antiphons) to start decorating also means a lot of stuff happens at the last minute! This year will be particularly challenging as it seems that we will be moving into our new kitchen and refectory at the LAST MINUTE, too! We've begun to line shelves and sort through what goes where. No easy task for 18 women!
Reminder! Our online Gift Shoppe will ship all orders received until December 17th. Any orders received after that day will NOT be shipped until after Christmas. (We might stretch it a bit to the 18th but we would prefer not to.)