December is the time to celebrate Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. A traditional Advent wreath consists of five candles, three purple, one white, and one pink.
Count Sundays backward from Christmas Day. Advent begins on the first of four Sundays before Christmas. Sometimes, Advent starts in November so plan it out ahead of time. For instance, in 2024, Advent begins on Sunday, December 1. This year, in 2023, Advent began on Sunday, December 3.
Hello! This week we will talk about how to celebrate Advent. Some churches do it. Others do not. The church we are going to now does celebrate Advent. They light a new candle each Sunday for four weeks plus the white candle or Jesus candle on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depending on when there is service.
Good Monday morning. It is 7am and 40° this morning, a bit warmer than yesterday. However it was 39° when I woke up. I fried some eggs for breakfast and I'm in the process of eating them now. David is eating his in the den and I am in my office. We enjoy working early in the morning while it is quiet, before our team members get here.
This morning, we shot our new TV commercial. Matt is editing it and adding music to it. Of course, the music will be our company jingle that was featured on our last TV commercial in 2022. The words and music were written, played, and sung by our son, Matt.
I spent most of the day pulling and filling orders. We had two customers. Someone bought five dozen eggs but I have plenty more so come on by!
Happy Birthday to our neighbor, Carolyn!
Ahead of the Christmas season, you will need to buy a set of Advent candles as well as candle holders. Some years I have used tapers while other years I found pillar candles in the appropriate colors. Some years I bought a green wreath to put on the table. Other years, I had the candles standing in free form with no wreath.
Set up your candles. The first and second candles are purple. The third candle is pink. The fourth candle is purple. The fifth candle goes in the center and it is white.
You can choose to just read some scripture related to the birth of Jesus each Sunday or you can get an Advent devotional book and read a bit each night. When our children were young, I would buy the Advent calendars with a piece of chocolate for every day. We would read a devotion each evening after dinner and then the children would open one square for a chocolate treat. It was a super fun way for them to get excited about Christmas and to learn about all that Christmas means.
I would light the week's candle before reading the devotion and then blow it out when we were through so they would last.
Good morning! It is 41° and pretty chilly but the sky is clear. There was a beautiful sunrise.
There is a lot going on today. First, David has something in his foot that I could not find so he left at 7am for an early appointment with the doctor for that. Nacho is coming over to do some work including painting where I have been sitting since there is some white dry wall patching that needs to be taken care of. There used to be a window unit there. I need to move everything in that area so he can get to it.
Our Christmas party happens today off campus so we will be closed from about 11am until about 2pm. No one will be here at the store so please plan your visit for 2pm or later today.
We went to Charlie's Daughter On The Green which is the golf course restaurant in Devine for our Christmas party. I did not take any photos but I should have. We invited over 20. We had about 18 there and they took good care of us.
Happy Birthday to our neighbor, Tootie!
Nacho put my Christmas gift together that David got me. I have no idea what it is.
We went by GroMore Gardens after the Christmas party and picked up 13 fruit trees that we will plant in the spring. While we were there, Don gave me some pretty plants so that was nice. They are very good people. If you need plants, go by there. They are in Devine.
Right now, we have Aloe Vera and Snake plants for sale here at David's Garden Seeds®.
To celebrate Advent, the most important book you will need is the Bible. You can find the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke chapter 2, verses 1-21.
If you want to get a bit deeper, check out the following scriptures:
There are many Advent devotional books, for children, for families, and for adults. You will see some in stores around Christmas time. I suggest you look on Amazon because they always have an amazing selection of books before the Christmas season gets here to help you celebrate Advent.
Another thing I did when my children were little was to buy small, inexpensive manger sets for them to play with during the Christmas Advent season.
I also put some nice Nativity sets on display. I collect them so I have quite a few now.
Happy birthday to my youngest brother, Tim! It is a bit hazy looking outside but 53°.
So I woke up early after having a dream about Chinese food. Now I want to buy some frozen Chinese food. That way, when we get sick of eating Prime Rib or Beef Wellington, we will have something to fall back on. Yes, we will have Prime Rib again for Christmas this year provided that we can find one. We still have not secured one but we need to go today.
Our housekeeper is on her way so the house will be clean for Christmas. So much of it is still not clean so I am having to get it done. My office is a complete mess. The closet shelves and bookshelves are never dusted.
We did shoot part of our TV commercial today dressed in our new David's Garden Seeds® shirts and caps.
So it is finally the first Sunday of Advent. You will need to light the first purple candle. The first candle is called the Hope candle and it stands for the hope of the prophets who foretold the birth of Jesus hundreds of years before He was born. Read the devotion from the book you are using for the first Sunday. Then pray. After that, you can blow out the candle. If you are using a chocolate or other Advent calendar, open up the day's door. When my children were little, I liked using the chocolate Advent calendars. They could open the corresponding date's door and eat a small piece of chocolate.
Some Advent books have short lessons for every single day of Advent instead of just on Sundays.
It is the first day of winter. Hopefully, we have already had our winter in early December when the weather was in the 20s but we will see.
I got up this morning and went out to the kitchen to witness one of our glittery, silver, Christmas balls in Sue Ellen's mouth as she ran around. Thank goodness it is plastic. David got it away from her. For some reason, this dog always has to have something in her mouth. Since we have decorated the tree, she prefers the brand new decorations as opposed to carrying around her stuffed toys.
David made breakfast. We are going to go buy our holiday roast. David wants prime rib again this year plus we are out of butter and dog and cat food and a host of other things. I have not been shopping in weeks.
First thing this morning, we went to HEB in Lytle to buy food for
Christmas and New Year's. We bought prime rib and beef tenderloins. Each
piece of meat was over $100.
This morning, we found some things out about the new property so that may not be in the cards. We could not find some important papers so I started tearing the house apart.
I spent the day filling and shipping orders. I also put together some gifts and shipped those out to certain YouTube channels, hopefully letting them know that we exist.
We had zero customers in the store, which is pretty typical for December.
We did have to reshoot part of our new television commercial four times this morning before it was right. Yesterday, while I was being filmed, the Farm Store refrigerator kicked on and that made it hard to hear me.
Today, while it was being redone, I decided to change a line and I messed it up...We finally got it right but then because I changed the line, Matt had to rework the music so it is just right...It looks good now. Look for our new TV commercial starting in January on MeTV and on Saturday mornings on KSAT.
To celebrate Advent on the second Sunday, light the first purple candle as well as today's purple candle which is called Faith or the Bethlehem Candle. This candle represents the faith that Mary and Joseph had that God would take care of them, even though Mary was late in her pregnancy as they started the journey to Bethlehem from Nazareth.
This morning, our team has off and our store is closed. I began cleaning more and got my closet cleaned out. Now I am working on my office. It is a dusty, messy room.
David took Ethel to the vet to get her nails trimmed and they charged $63! They used to charge $17. That is ridiculous. I think we may need to find a new vet out here. We have been going to the one in Lytle. The prices were fairly inexpensive four years ago but they have gone up significantly but then again, so has everything else.
I actually started out the day by making some eggs and then I went out and took care of all of our animals. No help for me today since everyone is off.
I made chocolate covered pecan clusters this afternoon in the slow cooker. They are setting in the refrigerator. I got the recipe from my friend, Donna this past Sunday. She made chocolate covered peanuts. I modified the recipe, omitting the peanuts and adding pecans and coconut shreds. They are so good!
Once I took them out of the refrigerator, they held their shape just fine and are out on the counter now. There is no room in my fridge.
You can celebrate Advent on the third Sunday of Advent by lighting the first two purple candles followed by today's pink candle. This pink candle is called Joy and represents the joy the shepherds felt when the Angels of the Lord appeared to them to proclaim the good news that the Messiah had come near them. They left the sheep and hurried on to see the newborn King.
Good morning! The store is not open today but there are a lot of orders piling up since I did none yesterday.
I put a pork shoulder into my slow cooker at 7am so we can have pulled pork tonight for dinner. Then I started two bowls of bread, one for the rolls for the pulled pork sliders and the other for cinnamon rolls. I have never before made cinnamon rolls or regular rolls from yeast dough but I think they will come out okay because I have made bread before. The regular rolls have some whole wheat flour in them along with the white flour. The cinnamon rolls are straight up white flour.
Once the dough was rising, I ran out and took care of all of the animals and unlocked everything so David and I could work. I spent hours filling orders. Then I came in to shape the dough for regular rolls into balls. I rolled out the cinnamon roll dough, sprinkled it with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled it back up and cut it up into rolls using dental floss, a trick I saw on YouTube. It worked so well!
I also made deviled eggs and they were pretty tasty.
I wrapped my Christmas presents finally. Then it was time to go out and collect eggs. I got enough for three dozen packages of eggs which I packed and took to the Farm Store. When we open back up on Tuesday, we will have a lot in the store.
We watched The Black Cat on Svengoolie as we feasted on pulled pork sliders and cinnamon rolls. I couldn't even finish my cinnamon roll because it was so big. I frosted them with cream cheese frosting that I made. It was so good. I should not be eating like this. I was down 12 pounds since we started our no carb diet but it is Christmas!
The fourth Sunday of Advent is finally here! Celebrate Advent by lighting the first two purple candles and then the pink candle. Finally, light today's purple candle which is called Peace. This is the candle that represents the song of the angels who proclaimed good tidings of great joy because of Christ who would bring peace into our dark, sinful world.
It's Christmas Eve! Apparently, it rained all night because everything is soaking wet outside. It is already after 8am and I have not taken care of the outdoor animals yet. I slept late because I did not go to sleep until late.
I had coffee and a cinnamon roll for breakfast. Those cinnamon rolls are gigantic. David just got up. For some reason, when it rains, we tend to sleep longer.
We went to church. They lit the Advent candles today, all five because it is Christmas Eve. They decided not to have an evening service for Christmas Eve so this morning the fourth candle and the Jesus candle were lit to celebrate Advent.
We had leftover pulled pork for lunch. I baked an applesauce cake for Christmas dessert. David wants a broccoli casserole for tomorrow so I looked up that recipe. I have never made or eaten one before...
I made three dozen egg cartons and took those over to the Farm Store. We now have 13.5 dozen eggs so if you want some delicious farm fresh eggs on Tuesday, come on out to the farm for $4 a dozen.
On Christmas Day, light the three purple and and the one pink candles. Then light up the white candle which is called the Christ candle. The white candle represents the purity we have when we have been forgiven by Jesus through His loving sacrifice on the cross.
In today's celebrate Advent section, you may wish to light the white candle on the night of Christmas Eve as you read your Advent story. Some families wait until Christmas morning to light the white candle but you can do one or the other or you can light it on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas morning. Jesus is the Light of the World. I think it just depends of whether you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. In our house, we always opened them on Christmas morning. We usually went to church on Christmas Eve or watched a Christmas movie, although we allowed the children to open one gift up on Christmas Eve from a grandparent.
I know it is so easy and so much fun to get lost in a pile of presents but don't forget to share Jesus with your little ones on Christmas morning. If, like us, you no longer have little ones, take the time to read the story of the birth of Christ this Christmas morning. Remember the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, I know His birth really wasn't in December but that is when we celebrate it.
Merry Christmas! I encourage you to celebrate Advent every year as you make Jesus the center of your Christmas celebration.
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