OOPS! I Did It Again

I would like to apologize for my last story “Hanukkah (Chanukahh) — The Celebration of an Illuminating Miracle,” moreover, for the lack of a story to go with the headline that got posted.

 

The “Festival of Lights” began at sunset today, December 2, and the first candle on the Menorah was lit. I would like to wish all the crafty people in the world who began celebrating the first day of remembrance and rededication, a most joyous eight days of love and celebration with family and friends.

I spent many hours searching the web and reading through much information, to learn more about the Jewish Festival of Lights.  I so wanted to share with you, my fellow crafter, the history and traditions I learned about this celebration . I compiled this information, along with numerous craft ideas, recipes and activities to enjoy during this holiday time, in hopes that it might save you time doing the same.

In the “11th Hour,” so to speak, I did something wrong with my fingers. Instead of posting my story, I inadvertently deleted the story, only presenting the headline here on Three Cats Crafts. This situation happened once before, but it was a topic that I decided could wait until another time to rewrite. This story is different. After about an hour of punishing myself for not paying better attention, I started rewriting. Although I didn’t have to research everything all over, thanks to bookmarks, I did have to revisit everything again, pulling it together with photos and site addresses, to recreate my original story, or as close as I could get.

Well, the story is coming along great the second time around, but now I have run out of time for the evening. I hope you visit here again tomorrow, as I will be able to present this post then. Again, I hope everyone celebrating the holiday has many blessings over the next seven days remaining.

Your sincerely,

Gwen

 

Countdown to Christmas: A Collection of Advent Calendar Ideas

Is it Christmas, yet! Counting down the days until “the day” can be hard for some, but using an Advent Calendar can make each day, one of anticipation and delight.

 

You don’t have to be a little kid to get excited about the coming of Christmas, nor do you have to be a Christian to celebrate the holiday. The birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day) is one of the two most important dates observed by Christians around the world; Easter, which honors the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, is the other. However, people of other faiths or those without religious affiliations at all, can still find themselves getting into the Christmas Spirit and the gift-giving tradition.

Growing up, I don’t recall my family using an Advent Calendar to mark the days leading up to Christmas. As a parent, I introduced the activity to my children, as a way to help them curb their anticipation of the arrival of “Santa Clause.” I bought one each year when they were young, usually the cardboard version with chocolate candies behind each little window.

Although I am a Christian, I didn’t fully understand the traditions associated with the calendar. It wasn’t until my kids were grown, that I gave it more attention and understanding. I look forward to having one for myself this year — simple numbered envelopes in a cheerful basket by my bed, for me I think. But instead of a sweet treat to find, I will unfold little notes of inspirational quotes, kind acts to pass on and Bible verses I picked out for myself, all to encourage positive thinking from myself throughout December and the coming New Year… And, perhaps a few sweet treats to enjoy while I reflect on the blessings I have been given.

According to Christianity.com, “The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1).”

The modern observance of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. This year, 2018, it begins on Sunday, December 2 and ends on Monday, December 24. At which time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6.

“The origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th. Century. The first styles came from the protestant area. So religious families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve. The first known Advent Calendar, which was made by handwork, is from the year 1851.” explains Richard Sellmer Verlag on his website featuring artistic traditional paper calendars available for purchase.

If you are considering introducing an Advent Calendar to your family this year, or carrying on a tradition you are already familiar with, why not put a little of your own personality in your version and fill the windows with what is important to you. Several suggestions for treats include Bible verses, quotes of encouragement, candy, small toys, random acts of kindness, an activity you want to do, or a place you want to visit; whatever gives you and your family happiness, will work.

If you’re interested in learning more about the tradition of Advent Calendars, there are many places on the web to research. A few of the sites I discovered are: Christianity.com — WhyChristmas.comMentalFloss.comGotQuestions.com.

There really is no limit to what type of Advent Calendar you can choose. Search the internet for versions that reflect your style and get crafting, December 2 is fast approaching. If you decide to purchase a ready-made calendar, there are plenty out there, too. Need a little quick help, check out the selections I came across.

 

Don’t forget, once you make your mind up on the calendar that’s right for your needs, you gotta fill ‘um. Here are two sources for suggestions, Tinsel Bells & The Mad House

Whichever design catches your eye or suits your needs, I hope you enjoy the countdown to Christmas. Until next post…

Feature Photo: Vintage Advent Calendar from Traditional Advent Calendars

October 5th — National Apple Betty Day

Brown Betty is a traditional American dessert made from fruit and day-old or stale bread cubes with fruit and spices, usually apples.

 

According to Wikipedia, the dish was first mentioned in print in 1864 in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. A version of the dessert, using applesauce and cracker crumbs was included in the 1877 cookbook Buckeye Cookery by Estelle Woods Wilcox. Not to be confused with, but similar to, apple crisp or pan dowdy, Brown Betty is a great way to use leftover bread, becoming a sort-of fruity bread pudding.

Try one of these versions for your next dessert:

 

 

 

 

CHILLAXIN’

This pictorial brought to you by “National Relaxation Day,” August 15.

 

Chilling Out on Blazepress

Kicked Back on Zimbio

chillin 10

The Lord said, “Rest;” the sloth said, “already working on it.”

 

 

 

 

chillin 07

Even Hummingbirds need to stop flying every so often.

   Try chilling in the POOL or on the BEACH

Get the picture! It’s a whole day dedicated to recouping some of the time we spend on  stressing over our normal lives. Even for those who still have to work today (me included — the Harleyville Town Council story won’t write itself), there is still opportunity to celebrate physical and mental recovery. So, find your sweet-spot and get busy relaxing. Here’s to you rediscovering how much you like “relaxation.” Until next post, I’ll be chillaxin’ every moment I can — you should too.

Feature Photo: (image credit: Sergei Plytkevitch)  on Dark Roasted Blend: Weird & wonderful things.

Words From A Crafter: What A Month It’s Been!

“Oh, my God,” these past four weeks have gone so fast, they seem like a beautiful blur.

 

“Oh, my God,” is something I say all the time. I don’t say it with any disrespect; it comes out because of my astonishment. I said it watching America’s Got Talent last night, as one amazing performer after another went back to back showcasing their special skills.  Everyone was so talented. Continue reading

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