...if you're curious about the church calendar and how it works...
...if you might want to celebrate a feast day here and there...
...if you have a sneaking suspicion that there's more to celebrate than just Christmas and Easter...
I have great news for you!
Part The First:
My friend Sarah over at Two O's Plus More has put together a lovely post with some ideas about how to begin observing the church year in your home. If you have been thinking about starting to do this, Sarah can help. She has helpful suggestions about how to move gradually into following the church calendar.
Also, Sarah is giving away a copy of A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year, by Evelyn Birge Vitz. (This post contains Amazon affiliate links, fyi. You'll know them because of the big old Amazon logos at the bottom, ok?)
This book is a good introduction to help you ease into celebrating bits and pieces of the church year without feeling like you are drowning in saints, martyrs and candle wax.
Part The Second:
I'm doing a double book giveaway this week!
I have one copy of Feast! - a wonderful new e-book by my friend Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas- to give away. Haley and her husband, Daniel, have put together a collection of recipes and reflections for celebrating the liturgical year at home, complete with pictures, quotes, prayers and ideas. It doesn't end there, though. They've written a thoughtful and non-threatening introduction to the church year, inspired partly by their first encounters with it at their Baptist college in East Texas when neither of them was Catholic. The book is practical, realistic for busy families with little kids (since Haley and Daniel have three kids under 5), and down to earth. As a bonus, all the recipes can be prepared gluten-free. It is amazing work, y'all. (And you don't have to be Catholic to appreciate it.)
The book is 40% off this week (until Thanksgiving)- you can get your own copy for $4.99. The price will go up after that (as it should- this is a really fantastic book!). The food pictures alone are worth the price. (They say they aren't photographers, but the photos make my stomach growl.) Plus, there's an adorable picture of their son with kohlrabi. What's not to love?
Haley has generously offered a copy of her book for one of you, because she's fantastic. Like her book.
My second giveaway book is for St. Nicholas Day, which is coming up next week (so soon, can you believe it?) on December 6. I have one copy of my very favorite St. Nicholas book, The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi to send to one of my lovely readers.
The art in this book is magnificent. Even if you don't celebrate St. Nicholas Day separately from Christmas, this book is one you will want to add to your collection. (Also, you should consider celebrating St. Nicholas on his own day...it's so much fun! At least, it is if you don't do it like I did last year.)
To enter, please leave a comment on the Surviving Our Blessings Facebook page with your favorite Advent tradition (or one you'd like to start, if you haven't done so yet). If you are not on Facebook and still would like to enter, leave your comment here and I'll transfer it over for you. Two lucky winners will each receive one of the books. I wish I had enough copies for everyone.
Fine print: The winners will be randomly chosen on December 2 by one of my darling children from a basket of slips of paper. (We are fans of the old ways around here.) The e-book is a worldwide giveaway- anyone can win!- but the St. Nicholas book winner needs to be a US resident for postage reasons.
I hope you win! :-)
Look for more posts in the coming days on Advent and what we're doing to get ready. In the meantime, tell me...how are you feeling about December's quick approach? Are you charging ahead? Are you wishing you could put on the brakes? Are you somewhere in between?