The task of nurturing my children's spiritual lives and tending to family traditions seemed very burdensome for the first few years. That statement itself could go several directions but obviously that forced me to become a better Catholic in the same way that homeschooling has forced me to enthusiastically continue my education. I used to read the Tasha Tudor book A Time to Keep with a bit of longing and panic. Did all of those charming traditions come naturally to her family? After reading a Tasha Tudor biography, I realized it did not. She seemed to have to work very hard to create these storybook memories. And slowly, our own traditions are forming.
We had a little Advent tea yesterday, first thing in the morning before daily responsibilities could distract us. It was simple, but according to my children, the best tea ever. We prayed, sipped plain hot tea, ate shortbread and oranges. The children made pomanders to adorn our pine cone studded advent wreath. Finally we planted our paperwhites, very simply, in little mason jars. We read the Gospel for the day and enjoyed some of the music Jenn recommended. And then it was off to Mass and a little family breakfast.