Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 Fun ways to finish off the Liturgical Year

I know that the stores are already blasting Christmas music and Hallmark has a big lineup of holiday movies they've been showing (have you seen this Hallmark Christmas movie drinking game? It looks awesome), but Christmas has yet to make its appearance on the Liturgical Calendar. 

Sugar cookies with sprinkles to celebrate
the Solemnity of Christ the King! 
We just celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King on Sunday, and now we have a few more days until Advent begins. I already wrote about some things we can do to prepare for the new liturgical year, but what should we do to end the current year? 

If you need any help finishing off this liturgical year on a fun note, here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Eat ALL the chocolate.

Here's the truth: if there's chocolate in the house, I will eat it. 
Milk chocolate pudding makes a
great late-night snack :)  
I'm not giving up chocolate or sweets during Advent, but I am going to drastically cut back my sugar intake in a spirit of penance and simplicity as I prepare for the birth of Christ. Basically, this means that I need to eat all the chocolate in the house this week. Think of it as Fat Tuesday, except over the span of several days.

2. Light candles of various colors.

Once Advent hits, the main candles we'll be lighting around here are the lovely purple and pink candles that form our Advent wreath, because I just love praying and working by the lit wreath! Until then, I feel the need to light all of the other candles we have. Those purple and pink candles will get there chance late on; this week is for all of the other candles we have scattered throughout our home. 

3. Marathon all of those shows and movies that aren't about Christmas.
While I don't give up technology for Advent, I do embrace more silence and less screen time. I also do not want to watch Christmas movies before it's even Christmas. So, this week is the time to marathon all of those random shows and movies that I've wanted to see (I just finished The Punisher, and I think I may take a look at some animated Batman episodes this week, too). 

4. Declutter the house.
Even though I'm a bit of a minimalist, the coming holiday season will inevitably include awesome stuff entering our home. This is beautiful and wonderful, and I truly appreciate the generosity of others-it just means that I need to declutter now, so that we don't drown in a sea of presents + clutter + belongings we daily use. Decluttering is also a great chance to listen to awesome podcasts and watch shows (see above), so it's a win-win situation. 

5. Listen to fun music (that isn't about Advent or Christmas). 
The other night, as we drove home from our Thanksgiving break, I took issue with the radio. I'd find a station that wasn't on a commercial break and I'd hear Christmas music playing.

"IT'S NOT CHRISTMAS YET!" I exclaimed, switching to another channel...
...only to hear the melodies of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." 
"IT'S NOT ADVENT YET!" I yelped, finally finding an instrumental music station. 

In my opinion, there will be a time for Advent music (during Advent), and Christmas music (during the season of Christmas), but this week is not either of those times. No, this week is for all of that fun music that will sit by the wayside as soon as Advent comes (because I will listen to Advent at Ephesus and Bach's Cantatas many times over). So far, I've been listening to a lot of Purity Ring (especially "Begin Again"), some Imagine Dragons, and music from The King and I. I think my toddler must have hit an add on Spotify earlier today, because our music switched from "Shall We Dance?" to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys. But this week is a great time for the 90s to make their musical appearance, so it's all good ;) 

I hope that you have an awesome end to the current liturgical year, and a great start to Advent this weekend!


  1. I've been the same way with music! When I'm driving it seems like every station is playing it! And the Christian music station is already wishing everyone a Happy Christmas season??!!! Oooh that pudding looks yummy! I never thought of making it from scratch! Do you have a good recipe?

    1. Isn't it kind of crazy? I'm pretty sure that if Halloween didn't exist, society would be celebrating Christmas from Labor Day on or something insane like that. Oh man, if you haven't made yourself homemade pudding before, you should definitely try it! My mom made it now and then as a treat when we were growing up, and I just really like homemade pudding now. I don't have a specific recipe I use, I just pulled one up from the internet and tweaked it-the recipe I used was egg-free, but I'm used to putting at least one egg in a batch of pudding, so I added one and then I had a bunch of milk chocolate chips that I wound up throwing in the batch too.

  2. Along with decluttering it is a good time to clean the carpet in the living room. I did this last week so it will be clean and free of any spots when we put out Christmas decor and have guests over for Advent and Christmas activities.

    1. Shannon, that is an awesome idea! Good job getting that done. I'm sure it makes it easier to approach the holiday season knowing that you won't be faced with a big chore of cleaning the living room.

  3. LOL, I've been eating lots of chocolate without a liturgical intention, but now I have a good reason to! Haha. Advent was never a penitential season for my family, but I like how your ideas help prepare for a fuller celebration of the preparing season. I am very non Kosher about the music and currently have an instrumental Christmas station going, but would love to know of people's more intentionally Advent themed playlists! I have no idea where to find music like that...