[00:00:00] Hey guys. Welcome back to episode two of podcast, miss season two, I’m so excited to welcome an OG guest, an OG guest. She was on way back in July, where we had a conversation. Can you believe it was July? I can’t believe it’s July about lies a long time ago, long time coming. but today we’re back together to record this second episode of podcast, miss.
Oh, it’s my mom. By the way. I probably should. I’m the original OGs, the first guest I’ve ever had on the show. so yeah, totally gee, but today we’re talking about hospitality, traditions decorating the more, I guess, adulting side to Christmas, for sure. Might say my favorite things, some of your favorite things, for sure.
but before we jump into the episode, I wanted to let you know that you should stay until the end to hear about mom’s fun [00:01:00] project. It was already revealed on our Instagrams, but it’s still fun to talk about it here. Right? It’s very fun to talk about very fun, but without further ado, I’m on hi firstborn who will be 20.
20. That’s not couple weeks. Yeah. I mean, I think so you can tell me all about my traditions. Cause you’ve lived through the mall for 20 years. That’s very true. A lot of them around you sort of two and birthdays. Yeah. Ian, Olivia in SLR reeling right now. Sorry to your siblings. You already said that. You’re the favorite.
Yeah. They don’t even know. Oh goodness gracious. Privileges are there. Or the Guinea pigs, I think at all things they are, or I am,
pretty sure it’s me at this point. Yeah. But anyway, we’re talking about traditions, decorating hospitality. so it’s just going to be a fun conversation. About it, you right. You’re like nervous. So just wondering where you want me to [00:02:00] start. You’re the interviewer here, I guess so, well, I guess we can start with, what were some of your favorite traditions when you were growing up?
we’re talking about for Christmas and, I guess the favorite tradition was always that we would gather somewhere family whoever’s home on Christmas Eve. It didn’t matter where it’s just, I always love to be in a house where there were lots of people. Right. And usually there was lots of noise and chaos and, sometimes food that I didn’t like to eat.
Cause it was quite a picky eater as a kid. Thanks for that. You aren’t always a picky eater. You became a picky eater. I chose to not being a picky eater and you went down that other route. But, so that Christmas Eve being around people was always my favorite. And, you know, just being able to gather in the car, getting dressed up and going to wherever we had to be for the different.
Brian parents side or the aunt’s house or the, you know, what, who was that? You know, [00:03:00] whatever side, my mom’s side of the family, my dad’s side of the family. and then sometimes gathering with my siblings as we got older. And, you know, and then of course I started dating your dad when I was 19, which is how old you are right now.
and we. I think our first Christmas, we actually went to mass on Christmas morning, as I was just telling you, it was so crowded. We got there. So we had been dating, not the very first Christmas cause we started dating in September. So Christmas that first year we were, we got together somewhere. I don’t know, maybe at night or something like one of the houses.
I don’t even remember that very first, but the very first year that we were together. and then a couple months, right. So we got to, that was in 1989. And so this was 90, 1990, right. And when we went to Christmas mass in the morning, and I remember because like always, I’m always 10 minutes late to everything.
I don’t know if it was my fault or your dad’s, [00:04:00] but we got to mass. And of course at the time I wasn’t even Catholic. So I didn’t have any knowledge of these things quite that way. Even though I had a lot of friends growing up from high school that were Catholic and I did go to mass a lot with certain friends.
but. We got into mass and it was vestibule standing room, only classic kind of crazy, you know, we hung out in there for a little bit and it just was crazy. So, so going to church, wasn’t going to church. It was like tradition, the church that, that was actually the beginning of we’re going to church.
And honestly, before that, we were already dating, you know, for so long and we’d worked on the weekends. At night and, you know, afternoons or mornings at the country club or the cricket club where we worked and where we met. And they’d worked with a lot of our friends and we ended up going to church on Sundays as part of our dating time.
Oh yeah, hilarious. Right. I know because we were always together socially, but we [00:05:00] need to talk away from that social scene because we would go to work with everybody. And all the people we worked with would always go out after work. Or whatever in college and doing studying. But the only time that we really had, like time away was let’s go to mass.
And then we met the priest who ended up marrying us and baptizing all of you, because we would go to church all the time. And we made friends with the priest and as we would leave mass quite a bit, and he ended up, being part of my conversion to the Catholic church in whatever. But yeah, so church was always the center of everything.
And what did I do? We decided to get married. At Christmas, because why not make Christmas more chaotic, quite sorry to my friends and family who had to come to a Christmas, not Christmas. You just felt like December 27th. So Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas day rehearsal, dinner than wedding. Yeah. People were not happy, but it was a fun wedding and it snowed forever.
It looks like it was fine. Yeah. It was a lot of fun. Yeah. So church church was [00:06:00] your churches definitely become was our, The center piece of our holiday for Christmas, for Easter. and then I guess, as we, when we got married finally. Okay. So we dated for seven years, so we’ve been told lots of best together.
and then we, I became Catholic before a year before we got married and then. When we got married, we could walk to church or which was a different parish than the church that we got married in, but it was easy enough on some Sundays to just get up and walk down the street and around the block. you know, because in this area there’s a church on every corner.
not a lot of them are quite the same as they were, but, so. Christmas Eve mass became the thing to the point where even when you guys, except with the exception of the particular years, like your birth year, we, we did, we planned to go to Christmas Eve, mass, but we came two weeks early. So that’s a ruin in that plan.
That was the one year and only time I’ve ever early. Pretty good. and then when your sister was born in [00:07:00] 2005, She was, she was actually due on Christmas Eve. Seriously, you see the Christmas chaos. she actually came on the 15th again early. Your other sister, wasn’t doing December, but March, but she came early.
Your brother, he tried to hold on. He was the only one that was a day late. Anyway. Yeah. So the tradition has always been that Christmas Eve. We always went to mass on Christmas Eve. I don’t, I don’t, there might have been one Christmas day. When you and Ian were little that we got to mass on Christmas day, but I can’t say that for sure.
I think mostly it was Christmas Eve, mass. And then as the four of you got older, you know, there were a couple of years when we tried to do the four o’clock pageant mass with little kids, you can see me holding my head. That was always a lot of fun because parking, you know, the furthest spot you could from the.
The church in our small parking lot. And then, you know, everybody wanted to go [00:08:00] to four o’clock because then they wanted to do dinner and then they wanted to get home with their kids. and there were the years that you were in the pageant sisters where the mayor, the angels, you were married. so those were fun years and you just always made church, like are.
Our main tradition to the point where this year, you know, Christmas or Easter came and went and her sister so upset, we all were upset. Like we’re just missing, you know, Easter mass and that tradition. And then Olivia. Yeah. It’s so funny that she wrote to the Archbishop that we’re keeping that open for Christmas this year, because you know, she was pretty, you know, upset that that’s.
The consistency that we’ve always kept. Yeah. I mean, it’s a big deal for, for a lot of us. And I know that there was a lot of, a lot of Catholic people this year that were particularly upset. They didn’t get to go to Eastern mass. And so if anything, they’re like letting got ruined some Easter and Avon’s not getting ruined this year.
and so I don’t blame them. Like Olivia says, it’s like that tradition of going to church. for some people [00:09:00] it might just be like, You know, okay. We’re just going to church, but for us, it’s just like, you know, are priest singing hallelujah before mass opens and like just having that real community feel when you go to mass on Christmas Eve, I will say Christmas day mass is just not, not happening.
I don’t, it’s a beautiful thing for people, but we just always liked the, the beauty of the light. Yeah. In the dark at night on Christmas. I mean, I know that’s not the only reason why. And of course, when little kids will wake up on Christmas morning, at 6:00 AM, you want nothing else to do? Whoa. Yes.
Right. But I don’t have a new one. I would go to mass on Christmas day too, because personally we have done that. You know, your dad and I, when you guys were not in the world, but we would. Like it, because it would be less, less people, but there is something about even just being surrounded by all of that community and Churchill on Christmas Eve, seeing people dressed up that [00:10:00] you might see running in, in their sports gear on a Sunday to whatever, you know, sports event or, you know, what other things they have going on.
So it was, it’s fun to see that. And of course, it’s really fun when you get into church and the different churches over the years that we. You know, moved through for whatever season that we were in, whether they were our local parish or changing parishes for different reasons or school chapels that we would go to.
Those seasons were all beautiful for the differences that they weren’t. Right. And, it’s been kind of fun to see the differences of that, those moments where the one, you know, when you guys were a little help. Chaotic bringing all the little ones that you are carrying each of you on our hips and, you know, and praying that you could survive eating a snack before mass and then, you know, getting to, to, to wherever we were heading for dinner, if we were heading out anywhere else, because you know, with little kids, it was always hard to, you know, [00:11:00] Meet somewhere, you know?
Yeah. Yeah. I think like this year it’s going to be interesting to see, but I feel like that sense of consistency that they are. So keeping church open, hopefully at least. Yeah. At least in our, they are, but just keeping that open, is kind of. Almost relieving that we are having something else to look forward to this year.
it’s almost there, we’re in the homestretch finishing out this year, we’re going to finish it, pray that, you know, things stay as they are. We’ve had a little more, you know, normalcy in that respect with some music starting to come back and, you know, we’ll say how that all goes in the next couple of weeks.
We’re limited, very limited in how there, Putting out mass, right. You know, they’re going to do more masses, sitting, less people and you know, and a lot of people are opting to not go and that’s perfectly fine choice for offers. You know, we just, where our masks going to go to church, you know, we have to, to protect ourselves and, others [00:12:00] and be respectful of others in, in their, their concerns medically.
Yeah, exactly. And I think like one of the coolest things is Sarah is like how much technology is really like. Forced us to adapt or we’ve had to adapt and use technology. and so a lot of people are live streaming mass, and it’s like adding this element of, I guess, like, I dunno, just this, like I said, adaptation to things that you probably wouldn’t ex expected from people before, and just giving them access to other things and doing like student Christmas parties or something like that.
It’s kind of fun. We embraced that during the. Spring season that Easter was sad for us to do us to the point didn’t we right over to the church parking lot. We did, we just couldn’t. We just went in the church parking lot, like our recording. We went and said hello to our, our, priest and pastor there yesterday.
Wasn’t that when they did the, drive through like Easter blessing, or it was that mother’s day that they did that [00:13:00] mother’s day and they did it on, St Patrick’s day, which is like, there was, yeah. Cause that was the name of our parish quite right. Yeah. That’s kind of funny, but it’s just like churches, probably mothers say it wasn’t March because we didn’t have the.
Yeah. Not quite yet. It was just, we were already, people were already in March being really locked down. Right, right, right. Yeah. That’s crazy. Oh man. so you were asking about other, other traditions besides church. Is there anything else that you did growing up that? Oh, well, I didn’t do a lot of church myself growing up when you were growing up.
for me growing up, my mother’s birthday is tomorrow, the December 8th. When this is live, say that this goes live tomorrow, today, today. What am I saying? This is today. I’m happy for you to be immaculate conception. Yeah. It’s Monday, Tuesday. so my mother’s birthday is December 8th. Today, [00:14:00] today we are celebrating her birthday and as kids, we were not allowed to decorate.
Until after her birthday now, my mother was not raised Catholic or father was Catholic. I don’t know what press Protestant, religion she wants. But, she was somebody who always read, read the Bible, had it all, you know, always we went to the local Baptist church when we were kids, because it was convenient and look, you know, where we were and that’s just where her community was at the time.
and I only say that because December 8th being. The immaculate conception. It’s a very Catholic thing is a Catholic thing. And I was aware of it because, because of her father’s side of the family, right. Irish Catholic, what, how much I knew about it. I didn’t really know until, you know, I got into high school when I went to an all girls Catholic high school and I knew more about it, but, She just didn’t want anybody decorating before her birthday.
So, I mean, that’s kind of funny. I don’t know. It’s just what she did. I guess [00:15:00] she didn’t want to get lost of you have a December birthday. She didn’t want to get lost in the, in, you know, I guess the excitement of Christmas and then have a birthday last. I don’t know. Interesting. Yes. You know, we’ll just leave it there.
so then. We, my parents did it. We didn’t start decorating until at least after the 10th, whatever that weekend was. And I don’t even know if we did. I don’t think we did the Christmas tree. In fact, I think Santa’s decorated the Christmas tree from our, from my memory on Christmas Eve, Santa was very, very busy man, and it wasn’t my mom.
And we often did most of our Christmas shopping and there’s included Santa is included very close to Christmas. For financial reasons. Right? So whatever financial, you know, extras they had, they would save up until the very last minute to buy Christmas. And I’ll be honest. I remember going to like the toy store with them.
It’s called kiddie city then became the toys, [00:16:00] toys R us or whatever later. But so we would go to one end of the store and whoever was the shopper would go to the other end. And that would be the distraction. And I remember, and which is probably why I love being surrounded by a lot of people. A lot of people shopping at the last minute or Christmas Eve, of course.
Right. We didn’t have Amazon. We didn’t have any, you know, obviously online shopping. I remember specifically the year that the cabbage patch dolls were out and I wanted one. I mean, I was probably on the cusp of being just about ready to not be into dolls. But knowing that. My dad, knowing that we wanted them, he searched high and low.
And I remember, I can imagine, I don’t know whether it was actually Christmas Eve or very close to it where he did not get them. And he did not want to disappoint for Christmas. And I still have that cabbage patch doll. Yeah. It’s one of the, I had two dogs, two babies, and I have both of them, right. Them.
And I don’t know that I preserved them, but they’re still in our presence [00:17:00] and the girls and you have played with them a lot over the years. So I know that any thing that we really wanted, they, they would do what they could to give us those gifts. They were not, yeah, they enjoyed giving us Christmas gifts.
And I remember my dad wrapping presents very, Mateus, meticulous, you know, and even to the point when I was in my teens, he knew how much I loved photography and he. You know, really pair spare, no expense and finding a good camera for me, which is something that I still, yeah. I don’t use that camera to was, you know, true SLR like breast body Minolta camera.
we have to show a little picture in the show notes. Yeah. So that’s where my love for photography came in. And I think I actually wrote about that last year, maybe [00:18:00] somewhere along the way. Oh yeah, it was. I like that picture. Yeah. Yeah. I saw the link to that somewhere or something, but that’s an interesting, yeah, I mean, so that was the thing and I think pajamas.
Every year. We’re a thing like slippers. I don’t know if they were super consistent, but I know you have all been super consistent. You know, every year Christmas Eve, the doorbell would ring. Even if we had the gathering here at our house may have figured it out. Somehow they would be at the door. The reindeer food would be sprinkled as we got back from mass.
Which by the way, close your ears to the little. No, no, it was the distraction to get Christmas. Pajamas are the front staff. So while you were doing that, somebody was writing it in the house, putting them up outside so that when you came in the house, they’d be outside. It was perfect every single year.
And I’m like, I don’t even know how you guys did it, but it was just every single year. You probably did last year too, without us even. Yeah. They’re really like a bunch of people here [00:19:00] last year. And you guys still managed to do that. I think one year, one of your cousins threw it out the door for me. He can just imagine it.
There are always those little, those gifts were the, the, Pajamas. And I forget there was one other thing that we would do a lot. Oh, the ornament every year, last year was the first year we didn’t do it because we just couldn’t find, or do we don’t last year, we just couldn’t find them for whatever reason that were different enough than the years before, you know?
And they would always be like a Disney thing that you were into or. You know, Mickey mouse or cartoon, like the Grinch or something that, Oh yeah. Yeah. We were decorating them the other night and it’s always so fun to like pull them out every year and forget whose assumes, well, I was really good at writing your initials in the bottom of the year.
Yeah. Well that happened for the first four years. I don’t know what, then I had four kids and four kids. Four. Yeah. Who knows? They know now. And by the end of this year, when we’re packing them [00:20:00] up again and we’ll, I’ll probably. Go back and Mark everybody’s because I remember like, you know, living in Isabelle, we’re into frozen.
So this, somebody like else’s somebody like Ana, there you go. Brain freeze, something like that. Yeah. Yeah. No, I think, I think it’s, those little things are so fun to look forward to every single year. And even though like, almost 20 years still kind of look forward to those. and so what have been, I guess, the coolest things for you to look forward to us doing in our traditions every year?
well, the pajamas, the chocolate for add advent. Yeah, I’ve been chocolate, which is not advent, but Christmas because it’s really not. I’ve been, but it’s like an advent calendar starts December 1st. So it’s not really, it’s not avid Christian related per se. Right? No big deal there, but I didn’t get them this year because I don’t know.
The last time I’ve been to the [00:21:00] supermarket, which is where I would pick them up in my typical routine. And over the years, Because I had a wedding in December because I had babies due in December while you were doing January, but you came early and I remember shopping outside of the gap when I was dealing with you.
Well, not quite do. And I told your dad, I’m like, we need to shop, go get a few things for whoever else. We had to get gifts for family members. Like we really need to go to the store. And he went into the gap and I was sitting outside on this bench, waiting outside in the mall. And this security guard came up to me.
Did I ever tell you this? I don’t know. He said ma’am are you okay? I said, yes, I’m okay. He said, you do not look good. I’m like, well, that was not something you ever tell a pregnant woman, but I was very, very pregnant because that was on Wednesday night. I had the, I went into labor the next morning with you.
So I obviously, or actually maybe within like, [00:22:00] maybe that was Tuesday night and I had you on a Thursday. So maybe it was like Wednesday. I was just feeling funny all day. Not that I would’ve known that I was in labor. I really didn’t. But dad got up to get ready for work and, you know, clearly my water broke.
So I was having you that day. No, there was no surprise with that. Right. But the man was obviously good. So, because of that, I started to shop earlier for Christmas and had most things done before December. Right. And, then when I had Ian again, I was pregnant. Do a Jack, not till the end of January, but I wanted to make sure that, you know, everything was in place and, you know, you know, God forbid, anything came along earlier just, you know what I mean?
So just, I just became used to that. So this year who’s shopping for anything the way we normally do. So I never got the advent chocolate and possibly got it. I saw that last week. Huh? Plus we go to the store. Well, now you guys go to the store and we forget. Well, I never asked you to do [00:23:00] it now. It was never even that it’s just, I didn’t, but yeah.
Yeah. I just, I saw them one day and I thought, Oh, I better go get them. And it just hasn’t. Yeah. Yeah. So what did you, what did you write about in relation to that? So other traditions, right? That we’re kind of changing up. So I was telling Isabelle who I said, Oh, you know, she asked me about the chocolate.
The littlest one is not so little at 12 anymore. And she’s always so forgiving. She said, Oh yeah, I failed you as a mom. I know what was me. And she was super sweet about it. And we were starting to read the Christmas Carol for our little reading that we’re doing for the month of December, the girls and I for their score work that we decided on.
And it made me think, because here we were talking about the chocolates in the middle of the day, last week and felt bad about that. And then it made me think. Of their Christmas, Carol, which we were reading and how [00:24:00] every year we go down to the city to see the, the light show. And then we track upstairs on the escalator at Macy’s in Philadelphia to go up to the, the Dickens village, little tour cottage to, I don’t think, walk through it.
It’s the story of, Marley and Christmas Carol. Right. And as I was reading that, I thought, you know, this is such a year where I kind of felt. Sort of emotional about the fact that we weren’t going to get to do certain things, you know, that they’re just not happening because that it’s not happening this year, you know?
And, you know, wherever the crowds are, they have to disperse those crowds from sad as it is. We have to just adjust. So what were we doing? We’re meeting the Christmas, Carol by chance. How fun is that? yeah, so it turned out to be okay. You know, but how many of those traditions are we going to have to sort of reroute.
And figure out what’s the new thing, go to bed. We go to Longwood gardens every year and that’s not out as an option, but you know, it’s still not quite the [00:25:00] same the way we would do it in the past. But yeah, I’m trying to think of other things that we’ve done so much. New York city. I mean, we go up to New York city since Isabelle has been.
In a baby Bjorn when she was like six months old. That was the first year we took you guys up there to double strollers walking through to the city on December 8th. Yeah, of course. We always would go into San Bernardino. Might’ve been December 7th because I don’t close enough. Right. How many years ago?
Right. That was a long time ago. And, two double strollers in two miles to my mom and dad to adults. Right. And that’s it. So we did not take anybody what a crazy night that was, but it was fun. And so that was the story. Like, then we would go to American girl and birthday gifts would be found and new Christmas ideas would come into play that I might’ve forgotten to order.
So we would sneak things that the double stroller was like the president hydro. That was a problem when it wasn’t. You know, in use any longer. Right. That’s true. That’s true. But yeah, I think like New York city, it was always like one of my [00:26:00] fondest memories growing up. Not that I’m not growing up, but you know, like this is part of our story, right?
Yeah. And just going, be able to go on fifth Avenue and we would walk down there and all the lights and all this. Yeah. So it was so magical going up there. And I think the one year, maybe three years ago, we went in March. I was like, this is weird. I’m so used to being there with the tree up and the lights and everything that’s really study, but it wasn’t really out of place.
It did feel cause we missed the whole. Yeah, cause we didn’t do, we didn’t even go in the crisis. Did we? No Christmas that year, because we were there because we had stayed for March. Right, right. So it was just, it was kinda crazy to like, you know, be there at a different time. So last year we went not Christmas, but like our anniversary, right?
No, it was two years ago. So we didn’t even go last year. Last year. Yeah, no. and then, Oh, because, cause they came in, town, came in from England. And they came to Philly and stuff. Right. That’s why we spent the time here with them. But the year before [00:27:00] that, we went to New York on our anniversary, spontaneous trip, literally that morning, the year before that we went and that’s year, we saw finally the Christmas show, Oh, the first year we say all the years we wanted to.
And. Thought the route each time when you were younger, which would have been fun, but it was actually really fun that you were able to appreciate it being older. You know, like we went up for the show, we walked through the city a little bit, got to the time was we, you know, got into the city to see the show and then spent the rest of the time walking around the city for a little bit.
But we weren’t. Yeah. Yeah, it’s just a little, because it was earlier, it was like in, it was actually November. So I don’t even, I think they may have just put the tree up or not even put the tree up yet, some of the things were decorated, just maybe not the tree. Yeah. And I think that was always just such a cool thing.
And I think the rockette show is like a one and done, like you see it. It’s like kind of cool. Yeah. It was good. It was worked out, but I don’t know that we would have to do it again. No. Yeah. And I think like even the, the light show and. [00:28:00] The Dickens village and everything. It’s like sad that they’re not there this year.
Cause that’s like one of the traditions we look forward to doing yeah. Scruffy as it isn’t as many times as we’ve seen it. It’s the same thing. Every single time, you know what? We stay in the same exact spot or Macy’s every single year, your department, I try on shoe as well, but it’s just, it’s just like that tradition.
That you look forward to every year. so I guess my question is how, or what’s your advice for keeping traditions when times are, is weird. If they are right now, how are you adapting? Wow, I guess, that’s a tough question, right? I mean, obviously there’s going to be a lot of things to adapt because, Can’t do things that aren’t going to be an option.
So we have to get creative and see other options, you know? So if we can’t do light shows, do we find ways to go find light shows of our own? Right. you know, whether there are outdoor places and I know a few around here, and I guess that’s something that we all have to be able to do. [00:29:00] If they’re in places where you can’t even really go out in your whatever state restrictions are.
You know, I guess the question would be, what can you create at home? Yeah, exactly. you know, and if your kids are certain ages, this is a great time to start traditions at home because having seen, even the New York thing is fun, is it wasn’t, it was, it was w our fondest memory, but that first year, you know, you guys were little and, Hey, Olivia for 30 seconds now three seconds was outside the door and we thought she was outside the door and wondering where she was because she just pushed the rotating door herself, right.
Revolving door herself. you know, it’s big deal having a little kid step outside of New York city. So like that responsibility, it makes you think of that Chesterton quote where you all around the world and you end up back at, you know, home anyway. Great. Quote, that number, that exact quote in a few minutes, paraphrase of the Chesterton quote.
there’s so many things that we have done [00:30:00] at home because of the year when you had surgery. And I was, you know, walking around in a boot because I had, sir, you know, my foot was injured and, the year after my dad passed away, we didn’t kind of do things the same, you know, because traditions change and people come and, you know, Obviously are not part of your life anymore and in only in spirit.
Right? So you, we have to adapt the things that we’re doing, you know, and this year, you know, like tomorrow’s my mom’s birthday and she’s in a nursing home, so we’re trying to, to figure out what’s a great thing to do. And there’s really not much we can do you know what I mean? You know, she’s. It’s really locked down at this point to keep her safe.
So what can you treat? What can you create it in your own time? And I remember when you had your surgery the first year that we maybe did more gingerbread house, making sure, actually, you know, one, one year we did the bedroom door decorate. Oh my gosh. That was so [00:31:00] fun. We did. And the girls were reminding me of that word.
You guys had to decorate your door and. Was that last year or the year before I forgot, it was a couple of years over years ago. I can’t remember when we did that, but they deck everybody decorated a door and, you know, came up with some fun with Christmas lights and whatever. So you guys really decorated your own rooms and the doors to have some sort of fun theme.
I mean, if your kids are really little, it’s just a matter of doing craft things or more Storytime movie time. I mean, there’s just so many things that you could come up with. That changed the traditions from outside of your home to inside your home. And that changed for us too over time where it became less Christmas-y and more advantageous.
Yeah, exactly. Right. Because now you all went through Catholic school for so long, right? Until you’re in college now. Right. And your brothers Catholic school, still a faith based school and the [00:32:00] girls had always been. Until they now are homeschooled for lots of different reasons. Right. but we’re still trying to, I totally lost the train of thought is why I was saying that.
Okay. So back bringing it around based on the psych, the liturgical cycle versus Christmas. And certainly Christmas is still always the still end game. And we still have always, always had Santa as well. The story he’s eight neck and same to, you know, I mean, everybody’s. way of articulating that is different, but for us, it was just the magic of the season.
No matter what, like, and then just allows us to make it go more deep inside, keeping it inside our homes, keeping it inside your heart. And then how you pour out to other people when you walk outside. Yeah. I’d really like spreading the joy, the peace, hope and love. I think, I think I got the four of them.
Joy. Peace. Hope love Desi. Okay. [00:33:00] Yeah. So the, the forest pillars, Mrs. PSB. So the four, four type, weeks of advent. but I think like for us, as I received it is from, you know, the last weekend, usually in November until Christmas and then Christmas day starts Christmas season for us until January 8th. So Epiphany.
Yeah. So. For us, we’re usually doing both, we’re celebrating, we’re going to the mass, we’re doing advent each week, and then we’re also decorating for Christmas. And I think over time, and this is kind of like a side note, but over time, like I think, I think I’ve seen such a, decrease in like the more secular Christmas and more of an increase in the Christian Christmas and, more advent, at least in our home too.
and really stressing the importance of. The reason for the season. I, yes. and so I think that’s something that’s worth noting for sure. Is like really focusing on what’s your [00:34:00] focus during the season. and so I’m sure you can speak to that better than I can, but, how did you, I guess, start to adapt your thinking from.
Santas around the house. So more of the nativity scenes and realizing the importance of the season. So I’ve always loved a nativity. I mean, forever, ever, ever. I mean, how many, how many of them do we have go check out that little thing that, you know, we’ll put that picture. I’ll put that picture up from your father.
So funny, he went, took a picture of everyone at the Holy families needed a collage. so. I’m looking at there’s two that I know we’ve had one that we’re looking at right now that I actually got 17 years ago. It’s a wooden one. Oh yeah. I love that one. Yeah. I got that when I was selling Southern living at home stuff.
And that, that was a long time. Well, it was 17 years ago. It was her brother was just about a year old, right? Yeah. And then the one that we got from Lennox and each year we would add to that. and [00:35:00] I love that one. And, then I found it. A couple of different vintage ones along the way. So I wouldn’t say that I collect them, but I guess I do.
And, and, a couple of Holy family pictures, I think I have one from Kelly Brown. I can’t think of who it is. it’s a Hertz, not, yeah, I think it’s hers, but, you can again, like link that. so how did I start to do adapt that? I feel like, about five years ago, I went to an admin retreat, which is where we met a good friend of ours for the first time.
And shout out to you. You need, so if you have a show later on show later today, right? and at the time in this advent day long retreat, we talked about, Jesus in the morning. And then we talked about Mary in the afternoon of this retreat. We had lunch and then we came back and talked about Mary’s role.
And I think what sort of clicked a little bit is because I didn’t grow up Catholic [00:36:00] per se. Like I grew up, I think I always know that I was in there certain reasons why I definitely know that I was drawn to it from early on. Right. because I was around people at 14 that were kids. Friends of mine from high school that were already, you know, immersed in that.
And I had been in churches for certain things in weddings and, you know, just different things that, you know, too long, a story to talk about now, but I know that it was already always happening. Mary was there. and I think that day it was like, wait, it’s a missing piece that I, I. Disconnect. I was disconnected with no one and I don’t how else to explain that.
And I think it just turned it on. And I remember even that might’ve been the year I talked about that picture. The other day of you guys taking the tree up, it was that same year that I heard, like even the story, right? Like the pageant and something like clicked, like, wait a minute, this is remembering.
I’m going to get teary-eyed. I [00:37:00] remember you guys always saying like certain times when I’m in church and I get emotional about hearing certain readings of the Bible, like how many times have I read them? And I’ve been reading the Bible since I’ve been like the smallest thing with my little Bible, right?
10 years old, when I was baptized, who chose to be baptized, that there was something about this story that just was like about the family, right. About this family that, you know, I mean, and I just. Wrote this thing about how in the joy of, Scott Hahn’s boy book, the joy, joy to the world about how the family is the hero in the Christmas story in a way.
And it wasn’t like I was trying to strive for that. It was just like, that’s what we were doing. Like advent is about the family and how the family is and how God is trying to really bring about his story through the family. And we were trying to live that. Forcibly. It’s just what we were doing. Like we were going to church, we were doing these things.
I mean, how many years later when your kids are old enough to make those [00:38:00] choices just in the last few weeks or so, where it’s so important to you guys that you go to church on Christmas Eve speaks so many things to me about how that really was such an important thing for us. Right? Then we kept going to church and going to church.
but I think at that moment, I, I just, I feel like it just was all the other stuff was noise. If that makes sense. It was things of the world that just, I I’m not turned away from Santa and I’m not, it just, it just didn’t fit in my house anymore. It’s just like, even at Easter, the rabbits they’re cute, but they weren’t in my, they weren’t part of the story for me anymore for Christmas or for Easter.
Like, I didn’t need to. It’s because that’s all I knew before secular Christmas, Christmas, and Easter, there was faith always woven in, in some biblical way, but not in a literary. Yeah. Right. He just had friends. So I think [00:39:00] that that probably, maybe sort of answers that a little bit. So each Christmas, I mean, and this is this year.
because we’ve had more time at home right now. Brian got a problem with it. No, not at all. So a lot more time at home where I actually normally take through the whole month of December to decorate, as, you know, as I add things. And then like the last week, I’m like, why did I wait? Why did I wait so long?
I shouldn’t even have bothered them. Yeah. But some of it is true because we’re always running to this event and your brother’s in a show or this one and this one in this one, or whatever is doing that. But I was able to pretty much get all the decorating that we wanted done just in the last week. And when I went through my stuff, I.
I recall that there were a lot of things over the last couple of years that I didn’t bring out and it just didn’t feel like I wanted to, and I didn’t want to get rid of them until I knew that I just don’t. I just don’t have, I just [00:40:00] don’t love it anymore. And so, you know, maybe this year, like we did last year with Easter, Not at Easter time, but the year before got rid of a lot of Easter stuff, definitely got rid of a lot of Halloween stuff.
Not because it’s too good for it. It’s not that it’s just, I just don’t. I’ll let, I’ll go out and bless the world with it. If somebody wants it, we’ve given stuff, a lot of stuff away. Meat is not, it doesn’t hold meaning to me anymore. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s a, that’s a good explanation. That sound like what you’re.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I, I know that I seen it for myself is that, you know, I used to want. I dunno, a little Santa pictures or something like that around my room during Christmas time. And now it’s more like, okay, where’s the advent wreath, like, what can we do for that? and one of the things I remember from high school, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard this before.
My, my teacher used to say, let’s listen to advent music instead of Christmas music. and not that there’s anything against Christmas music, [00:41:00] but it’s just funny because like, it really is, that is the season. And it’s become kind of so immersed in our world to just to be the Christmas and the Holly jolly.
And I don’t know. so I stopped the house. That was kind of funny. I was like Advent music, like what what’s that? Just Gregorian chants or something like that. that’d be that, but I think it’s more just things and you already know the answer to this, but for someone who might be wondering, I think that advent music is more of, yeah, Christmas music is Christmas music, but haven’t music is, is, Music that the books to see the hand gesture.
it’s just a contemplative aspect of music, it evokes, more deep, you know, a prayerful, every walking prayer of sorts, right? Yeah. I mean, you know that when I’m trying to think of something to write and I can’t. Yeah. There’s two things. I do. You ready to get out there? What are [00:42:00] the two things I do when I want to run first thing, first thing for me, at least.
And I always hear the Sonos turn on worship. Music starts blasting through house and I’m like, mom is listening to music cause she needs to write. That’s the first time something’s happening. Something’s happening. She needs to hear those lyrics to be inspired by something. Second thing, I, she turns on her GoPray app and listens to the gospel of the day.
What is the place that I always. Always and you come downstairs and you’re like, are you exercising? Are you? Oh yeah. She comes on the treadmill and she literally stands. She stands on the treadmill. It doesn’t move. She stands on the treadmill. That’s moving, I’m just standing on the outside because I’ve been walking and something happens.
It’s this, it’s this thing. Cause like Ian and I always sit there and we’re like, okay, how long is she going to write before we actually hear her on the treadmill? And I’m like, okay, usually it’s a good 40 minutes, but you’re standing there. You’re just writing. You’re writing. Right. Walked or run on it. But before that for even maybe 15 minutes, and then I [00:43:00] thought, Oh, there you go.
Yeah. But it’s just like, it’s like, when people think of the shower or something, I was like, her thinking time it’s on the treadmill could be walking, but we just don’t get out walking as often. Right. Always with dad. And so like that, doesn’t usually spark, I think when I’m talking to him not great, contemplating partner, if he will not necessarily know, we have different.
Brain space that way. Yes you do. Yes. You really do really more ways than one for sure. Grief. Okay. Yeah, for sure. how do you make people feel welcome in your home?
And in other spaces like the internet. I remember you did that challenge, that one time with one of your friends on the internet, it’s like, what would your ideal internet space look like? to make people feel welcome? how would I make people feel welcome? Well, that’s [00:44:00] a question that’s really hard to answer at the moment.
because hospitality obviously is my thing and that’s what goes back to being a kid and wanting to have. Lots of people around. And I often thought that it had to be a lot of people to, to feel that way. And when I had a lot of people at one given time, here’s a big dumb, the dome light, bulb them, whatever you want it.
Wasn’t what made me the happiest. Yeah. It became a lot more stressful. Then I, I wanted, wanted it to be because not because I couldn’t put that kind of event together cause I can, it was more, I couldn’t in, in gage with everybody that was often in there in a bigger space, like a greater bigger group.
Right. And I would always go away feeling like, wow, I invited this person, but I didn’t get to talk to this one or this one and this one. So, you know, while we had great gatherings, it always left me feeling a little bit empty because I couldn’t get to other people. To everybody, [00:45:00] you know, like at a wedding, when you have, as the bride, you’re always having to try to encounter everybody for a short bit.
When you invite them to your wedding or to self have a very small wedding, it wasn’t much, it really, there is a lot of thought to that, right. Intimacy in that community is a lot more fruitful. Right. So. how do you make them feel welcome? I think is just, you know, now it’s hard to bring people in and if you are bringing people in, you’re doing it in a smaller scale.
We have a circle of friends, very small circle of friends who’ve in, in, countered come and going with us over the last several months, over the last however many months, you know? Yeah. Yeah. same people. This circle has been small and. There are people that we, you know, know that we can open the door to and open your heart to.
Right? Yeah. And when you invite people and you know, you hope that you’re not just [00:46:00] inviting them in to see your pretty table, that you’re actually opening them in opening the door. I mean, to also see the broken parks. Right. Right. And not that you would just throw that out to anybody. not that you would throw it out to anybody, but that you would throw it out, opening the door to the, to, that vulnerability, to people that you know, are gonna be receptive to it and understanding of it.
Well, I will say that I’ll add, Quality over quantity. And I think we’d realized that a lot in the last couple of months is when you haven’t had those relationships with people, the ones that you do, you get, you want to spend as much quality time with them as you can.
because the quantity of the time that you spent with your family is becoming a little overwhelming. So it’s the quality that you really want to have in a relationship outside relationships. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think you make a good point that. [00:47:00] When quality over quantity in relationships, I guess.
Right? So, it, in this time, that time off from a lot of social, you, I think a lot of social interactions, I think you, you definitely start to see like, Oh, you do not. Like, it’s not a, it’s not a thing where you’re being judgmental or. You you believe you learn where your time, how you’re spending your time, how have you spent your time?
How are you? And when you’re giving out things out to the world, are you exhausted by it? Are you, are you renewed by it? Are you, you know, are you feeling like you’re getting, it’s a give and take and I think in, in lifetime, I mean, huh. In my half a century have learned, [00:48:00] no, not yet that you, how are you, what you’re, you’re spending your time doing and you want it to be life-giving and if you’re not able to give back, because things become draining, you know, you’re just, you’re just, boundaries are so important.
And we’ve been given boundaries so much in these last nine months that we’ve been kind of. And for, you know, like forced upon us, it’s almost hard to like, not see how boundaries can challenge us and can strengthen us. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So I dunno. I think, you know, you’re right . quality . over . Quantity is really, reinforced the people that you’re spending your time with, you know, and it’s, it’s just how we’ve always spent.
Our time is just always been around people. And always loved being around people, but you know, when you’re exhausted by so many things that are [00:49:00] coming at you, that you are out of, out of your control, you know, you have to be a little bit mindful, more mindful about how you spend that in and how you put out to the world a little bit, or allow others to come into your world.
So that you’re, that you’re spending that time in the most life-giving way, because when your life get, when you’re filling up that life-giving. Space you’re able to serve and give back to others. Yeah. You got to fill your bucket before you can fill others. Yeah. I always remember that analogy, but I think that’s a good, good note to end on, but it’s finally time to talk about our special, your special project.
And you’re looking at your notes, like, what are you talking project? Oh, I thought we were going to talk about peace. How do we need to bring peace into the world? Well, I mean, well, that is, well, how do we bring peace? Well, I’ll just, I’ll, I’ll actually go back to that because you bring that up to me that you wanted to talk about it and you didn’t just ask me that, but I will say this, it does go back to, the [00:50:00] things that about advent.
And I think when we had a little tech problem here, that’s why we, that’s why we got distracted from the piece word. And you may not know it as a listener, that the tech problem that, the piece that by reducing the amount of things that, display advent versus Christmas in the world is a, one of the ways that we brought peace to the house.
So I think it doesn’t mean about abundance versus not abundance or symptoms or, Like minimal minimalist versus not mentally it’s maximalist is some of my good buddies are decorating buddies that love that use. That word has nothing to do with that. It has to do with what brings peace to me for Christmas, Christmas trees with white lights brings me peace because of comms, you know, already like creative, chaotic.
Versus having a lot of Santa’s [00:51:00] with lots of color and, and things that over engage my mind. Does that make sense? Yeah. And if I see nativities and yeah, my cute little sad Saint Nick, you know, The Belsnickel collection off the Belsnickel if you don’t know that word. Yeah. Just watch the office. You have that in, you have that as a reference, the actual Germany.
Yeah. That’s true. those things have brought peace, you know, like in just the, the, the monomer monochromatic kind of color scheme that we like to do with Marjorie and, you know, velvet ribbons that are neutral colors, grays and golds, and. You know, navies are reds, but very neutral. Right. Even though Red’s not, but that’s typically the very little bit of color that we have.
So piece comes in that and what you’re spending your time doing again, we’re going back to this year. So unique. So it’s hard to say how our pieces rattled a little bit differently this year. Yeah, right? Yeah. Absolutely [00:52:00] rounding schedules because we’re sort of limited being around, out in the world. So now that brings me to our special, our special.
Announcement or whatever. Yeah. It’s already announced. It’s already been announced light of the world shirts and again, back to not having Christmas shirts. Yes. We do love our elf t-shirts. So we were looking for advent type like shirts. Yeah. And she made them. Yeah. Yeah. So he did, well you, you did help me with that.
but yeah. That’s pretty much all we did. Exactly. the shirts are the, all we have two designs, we have light of the world and then we have come let us adore. and we made a fun little reels for that on our Instagrams, which was so fun. Yeah. That was by accident that it turned into a real, it was viewed more times than I could.
She could just a little nervous at times it was viewed because it just, I like to [00:53:00] not be in front of the camera. I am behind the camera. Exactly. But the shirts are now available for purchase, limited quantity left. Very, very limited quantity left. so if you want them, you can head to ask love and laughter.com/.
Shop, which will be linked down below. And they’re very comfortable for a pajama. Likes it, Christmas Eve pajamas soft shipped out before the end of the week, or by the end of the week, you guys order them by December 16th, they will be there in time for Christmas, Christmas Eve, for sure. but the sooner you order them better so that you don’t sell out and your staff it’s an extra shipment for, because the GPS I hear and all the shipping companies are.
Extended and overextended wishes that’s right now. Exactly. Exactly. So, don’t forget to check that out. Cause that was a very fun project. and of course we have our regular merchandise shirts available, but Christmas ones are limited quantity and limited time only. I’m wearing my love and laughter t-shirt [00:54:00] right.
So I’m wearing the blue one underneath and then I think I was here on last year and the aprons that are fun, you know? Yeah. Ideas too. Spread some light love and laughter through the world. Perfect. I love it. Well, thank you for joining me on this episode today. You don’t have to edit this too much either.
So two more finals to take today. I can’t wait until finals are over. Cause as soon as yours are done, the girls are on break. I can’t wait don’t then by week, then they’ll really hate me then. anyway, you guys, thank you so much for joining me on this. Second episode of podcastmas there will be a bonus episode out this week as well.
don’t forget to subscribe like and follow mom on Instagram. hers is linked down below as well as mine. having a wonderful week and we will see you guys next time. Bye. Goodbye.