Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Fair As You Are Able"

People, look East!  The time is near,
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look East and sing today.
Love, the Guest is on the way!

That is one of our favorite Advent songs around here.  We especially love to sing it while we're hanging the ornaments on the Jesse tree.  I focused on the words "fair as you are able" this weekend, and we used the song for inspiration as we continued to prepare our hearts and home for celebrating the birth of Christ.

Cleaning and decorating.  Every year these things get me a little down because the part of me that longs for things that are neat, orderly, lovely, and picturesque especially longs for a pristine home and gorgeous decorations at this time of year.  Imagine the most beautiful magazine photograph you've seen of a home decorated for Christmas.  That's what I want.  And of course, I don't have!  But this weekend wasn't about perfection and decor worthy of Better Homes and Gardens.  It was about making things as fair as we were able, and it turned out to be good lesson for my heart this Advent.  

CLEANING: Saturday morning we set the troops to work and got a decent amount of organizing and cleaning done around the home. (By Saturday afternoon, you couldn't really tell.)  And my generous, fabulous mother helped me finished a little this morning after Mass - she cleaned my stove top, I cleaned the bathroom, and somehow it finally feels like our home is slowly transforming into a worthy place to hold Christmas celebrations.

even the little ones don't escape chores :)
SPIRITUAL LIFE: Speaking of "transforming into a worthy place" to celebrate the coming of Christ...  Russ and I did a tag team Confession run on Saturday, one of us running through the snow and cold into the church while the other stayed in the car with the kids.  Fair as we are able - we didn't have time to prepare or do a thorough examination of conscience, but we were both so grateful to have fit it in!  

PLAY: The photos were less than lovely, but I captured a sweet moment of the girls "reading" books of the Nativity and arranging some of our Nativity figures along the way.

DECORATING: Saturday afternoon we set out in 11 degree - feels like 0 degrees - weather to choose a Christmas tree.  It was so cold and uncomfortable, we ended up "choosing" practically the first tree we came across.  I missed our tradition of scouring the lot for the perfect tree, but we chose as fair as we were able under the circumstances, and I admit, now that it's lighted and decorated, it's a pretty nice one!  (Speaking of decorations, here's my post from last year about how our Christmas tree simultaneously ridiculous and the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world!)

HAIR: My hair is beyond help, but I was able to tackle the guys' hair this evening.  THANK GOODNESS.  I could hardly look at those shaggy dogs for much longer :)  Christmas haircuts are done.

before.  obviously.

Little by little, we are trimming the hearth, setting the table, preparing out hearts, and decorating our home.  It's not perfect; there are still crumbs on the floor, fingerprints on the fridge, and large portions of the tree with no ornaments.  Better Homes and Gardens isn't calling to do a photo shoot here.  But we're preparing as fair as we are able.  I hope that when my children get older they remember the joyful anticipation and preparations for the Christ child and know that as fair as we are able is all He asks of us.  


  1. Theresa...I sure needed that reminder of " as fair as we are ABLE" for alot of different things !!! Thank you...With Much Love, Aunt Claire

  2. Beautiful post! Love that nativity too! We've been looking for a nice, solid nativity for our boys to play with. Where'd you find your set? So glad I stopped by! Consider me a new reader! :)

    1. Amanda, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Isn't that Nativity set wonderful?! That particular set was a handmade gift from a man in our parish. I think I've seen similar items on Etsy. I hope you find something great for your kids to play with!

  3. I love your tree, and that nativity is just the kind I need for little hands to engage imaginations.

    1. Thank you! The tree did turn out pretty nicely, though it's a little tipped and that drives me nuts :) I just mentioned above that the Nativity set in the pics was a gift from a friend at church. I've also recently been painting a set of wood peg dolls for Nativity play sets. They're all over Etsy and Pinterest, which is where I "borrowed" ideas for the sets I made. I think they're a great option for little hands who want to stage the story! Hopefully I can post some pics of the ones I've finished soon.


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