My project today — and I am sadly later to it than usual — is to remind you that once again, the Norbertine Nuns of Tehachapi, California are taking orders for their incredibly fresh and long-lasting Christmas Wreaths (pdf)
I can only tell you that I have bought these wreaths for the last couple of years and they outlast any wreath I’ve ever purchased from a retail outlet, or mail-order house. For the last two years we’ve left the wreaths up throughout January, until my husband suggested I either “decorate that for Valentine’s Day or take it down.”
An excellent idea; our Christmas wreath became a Valentine’s wreath.
Moreover, when you purchase a wreath or two from these nuns, two good things are happening: you’re being placed into the nun’s list of prayer intentions (and from experience I can tell you that is a good thing) and you’re helping a community that is surging in vocations (as are their brothers) keep food on the table and heat in the cells. You can find an order form linked at their homepage.
Speaking of community, the sisters have been living in trailers and dealing with mold, which is not good for anyone. They’ve begun a capital campaign to expand their convent. Their newsletter (pdf) has lots of information about that. If your employer has a matching gifts program, perhaps some of your charitable donations for Christmas might go there!
Since we’re talking about nuns and Christmas, it’s a good time to mention that if you need gifts for people at the office, for teachers, bus drivers and so forth, you can’t go wrong with these choices:
1) The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have become purveyors of gourmet popcorn (yes, that’s popcorn with Oreos smashed in).
2) The incomparable Trappistine Caramels need to be ordered now, but will be shipped when you request.
3) Last but never least, our dear Dominican friends from Summit, New Jersey are preparing for Christmas with new soaps and new gift sets (I’m dying to hear more about the face creme with tea tree extracts) and, as they have re-immersed themselves in publishing, their cloister shoppe has expanded its line of wares to include new book titles, along with statues, CD’s, medals and more.
And yes, as several have asked, I do intend to do a post on Christmas gift ideas (I have a ton of them) as soon as I have a bit of time. I will tease you with one terrific gift idea right now, though. I think it’s the greatest tote ever!
It’s a beautifully-made knock-off — gorgeous, roomy and a lot more expensive-looking than it really is. Really well-shipped, too. Kitty has one in the mustard color and she just loves it. All the colors are pretty but I find the orange one is just sassy-looking!
If the tote is too big, there is also a similar handbag, but the same dealer; it’s also great-looking and inexpensive. I’m using it in red, right now, and I am constantly being complimented on it.
Okay, to end on a less-worldly note: the Poor Clares of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery have just welcomed a new postulant!