On a quiet Monday

No, it wasn’t actually quiet at my house on Monday, it never is.  I was very much feeling quiet on the inside though, along with so many of you.  I found a peaceful Gregorian Christmas album, and played it all day long.

I finished the green socks (finally.)  When I chose which size to cast on, I didn’t take into account the fact that Seth’s feet might grow while I was knitting them.  He is twelve after all.  So, while those are his feet in the photo, and he really loves these socks, we’re both afraid for him to wear them because his big toes stretch the stitches surrounding them into large holes.  I just requested several books on sock knitting from the library as I do believe I have a lot to learn!

When it comes to  Advent and Christmas traditions, the general advice is not to add more than one new one each year.  This year we are incorporating the O Antiphons into our days from December 17 through the 23rd.  My friend Grace and I talked for what must have been hours about just how we would create “Os” to enhance our family’s experience of praying the O Antiphons.  There was much discussion, and at one point I found myself googling, “Martha Stewart O Antiphons.”  That search did not prove fruitful.  I ended up sandwiching glittery cardstock between wooden os purchased at the craft store and painted with shimmery craft paint.  The glitter is for the back of each O.  Each day we turn the corresponding O around to face the room.  There is an image with a symbol for the day’s O Antiphon on the front side.  Grace and I agreed that we really like Michele’s images  (part of her Jesse tree ornament printable.)  As far as the prayers themself go, I am using this guide.  As mentioned by the author of the guide, I am planning to prepare a special treat each day.  One suggestion is that each member of the family (with the help of parents) plan a treat for each of the seven days.  This year, I am just going to plan the treats myself.  Today’s treat was gingerbread cranberry muffins.  After dinner, we crowded around the computer searching for the perfect version of O Come O Come Emmanuel on YouTube and sang along.  Eventually the girls started begging to watch Charlotte and Jonathan videos as well.  Unrelated, but they never fail to make us all smile!

p.s.  Jonny worked all night last night, and somehow Keats ended up in our bed and we stayed up later than we should have reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales by headlamp.  I was thrilled when we came across this illustration.  Did any of you have a knitted or crocheted “nose bag” when you were kids?  I did!!!

My sister found this book at the thrift store and sent it to us last year.  The illustrations are so beautiful!  Trina Schart Hyman is a favorite for sure.

And finally, this has been shared quite a bit over these past few days, and I’ve already shared it on Facebook and Twitter, but in case you missed it, please check out this post.


  1. There’s a blog http://www.winwickmum.blogspot.co.uk with fantastic instructions & help for knitting socks. She also has a facebook page Winwick Mum Sockalong where people can post questions & help each other. There’s information about sizing your socks.

  2. Samantha Lehmann says:

    Gingerbread muffins! I am doing our last Advent pre-Christmas shopping and baking tomorrow. What recipe did you use? The hyper-link is spoiled.


    • I used the recipe that the broken link went to, and I can’t get to it anymore either! It was on Rhythm of the Home and I guess their website is down?? It was originally Stephinie of Gypsy Forest’s recipe–maybe try emailing her?

  3. I love Ms. Hyman’s illustrations as well and I will be giving those muffins a try this winter. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas day.

  4. I hope you all loved the muffins! I just bought more cranberries to get a batch ready for our Christmas breakfast 🙂

  5. Yes! Yes, I did! My aunt made me a little nose warmer when I was little because my nose always froze at recess time. So funny to find others with one, too. Merry Christmas to you and yours . . . what a blessed time!

  6. I love those illustrations! Must get that book! I never heard of a nose bag though. The socks are gorgeous and I’m sad that Seth won’t get to wear them. I always add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inch for my kids growing feet. They don’t seem to mind the extra length in the beginning. Your O Antiphons craft is beautiful. 🙂

  7. What a beautiful book, I shall add it to my list 🙂 No nosebag here, but what a great idea! I made the boys a hobby horse one year, I think s/he would probably appreciate one of those filled with Christmas oats… 🙂 xx

  8. THANK YOU for your wonderful Christmas gift – “What Gift?” you ask – well my dear one, I bought the chant album – 34 selections of Christmas chant for only $1.99 – I consider that a gift beyond words… as I sit here listening to it I realize how calming, how peaceful, how soothing it is for this time of the year. I can’t wait until spring when I go to Regina Laudus in CT – cloisered nuns who take in a few guests (who help them) – they sing The Hours behind their screen in the chapel. There was a movie made about the founding of this sacred place, “Come To The Stable” staring Loretta Young and Elsa Lancaster… Used to be played on TV each year, along with “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby – but now there are so many young, “hip” Christmas movies – I try to stick to the old and tried and true ones… have you watched “The Homecoming” with Patricia Neal? It was the movie that the Waltons TV series was based on – but took place on Christmas Eve Day as the Walton Family awaited the homecoming of the father from his work many towns away – and there was a snow storm – watch it and hold those you love close to you – simple means so much more than “things” when family is involved.
    Blessed Christmas Time to you all!

    • I’m so glad you like the album! I was thrilled to come across it at that price!! I’ll look for the movies you recommended. I don’t care for the new “hip” ones!

  9. We read A Child’s Christmas in Wales every year on Christmas morning. It’s my favorite. I have several editions, including this one. We also like to listen to Dylan Thomas reading it himself (extraordinary!). We have it on cassette tape! It’s worth looking for.

  10. The socks look alright width-wise, so you could always unravel the toe and knit them a bit longer onve you find the time? 🙂 Unravelling is scary, but I like inserting new needles (or a thread) into the stitches on the row I want to unravel to, to stop it from potentially spiralling out of control.

  11. Oh, that’s crazy. I have that book out from the library right now. We haven’t read it yet because we are in the middle of moving. Only a homeschool mom….lol

  12. Hello Ginny,
    Thanks for the heartwarming link you shared at the bottom. That was really sweet and brought me some big smiles.


  13. Wow, that link you posted about the 26 moments made me cry. So beautiful and such an important thing to look at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing.

  14. You mean there really used to be such things as nose bags? That is so funny as I used to always joke about making them because my nose was always so cold. In all of my reading I have never come across that bit of information. I know I would love to read A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

  15. I’ve had that book ever since I was little. I love it…I will be so happy when my little ones are big enough to enjoy it. I read one page and they are gone!

  16. Sock knitting is awesome. I’ve only finished four pairs of adult-sized socks (and maybe 3 pairs of baby socks) but I now consider myself a sock knitter. However, there are many things I want to and need to learn, including toe-up socks, different heel options (short row heel, for example, is one I don’t know), construction techniques, etc.

    If you liked your first pair, you’ve been sucked in.

  17. Trina Schart Hyman – what a wonderful talent she was!

  18. lovely – all of it.

  19. You know – if you had enough yarn left over, you could be brave and unravel the toes and knit the foot a bit longer, then re-knit the toes and graft them closed. then all that work would be a usable pair that could be worn for longer. of course december 18th is not the day to do this. but maybe in a week or two when the holiday hubbub has calmed down.

    they look great btw!

  20. I loved O Come, O Come Emmanuel when I was a child. I am no longer Catholic, and haven’t been for many years, but just seeing the words brings me back to my parents’ living room, sitting near the woodstove, with the softly lit Christmas tree over in the corner… Such a beautiful, simple time… I’m enjoying this memory so much. Thank you for it. xo

  21. While I didn’t learn to knit until I was an adult, my sister and I sewed nose warmers! I about died laughing when I saw this in your post!! Too funny!

  22. I followed the link at the bottom of your post, and then tears flowed freely as I read through the page. Wonderful, warm reminders of the people we’re surrounded by and inspiration to find it in ourselves to act the same.

  23. When I was Texas girl getting ready to get married and move to Michigan, a friend crocheted me a nose warmer for a joke shower gift. It was so hilarious and fun!

  24. Do I spy The Grit cookbook? 🙂

  25. Haha! “Martha Steward O Antiphons”…love it! Beautiful ornaments. We’re just doing the coloring pages but maybe next year I’ll do ornaments or something…

  26. Those are beautiful illustrations. My grandmother came from Wales. Thank you for the link.

  27. I always enjoy your pictures and posts. This morning I am especially thankful for the link you posted to 26 special moments. What a reminder to count our blessings. Something I really needed. And now for a shower to wash away all the tracks from those joyful tears. Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

  28. She illustrated the copy of “A Christmas Carol” that we are reading right now…The pictures are wonderful.

  29. Trina Schart Hyman is a favorite illustrator – if you don’t have “Star Mother’s Youngest Child” I highly recommend it – it’s one of my favorite Christmas stories; plus, the small size makes it that much more appealing. I think I’ve mentioned this before but on those days of feeling “quiet” I suggest watching “Into Great Silence” (after you put children to bed).

  30. oh my, those illustrations are beautiful! I love children’s book illustrtions! xx

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