Wood-Grain Pens; Advent Candles; Wreaths! It Begins!

It’s late for me; usually I am halfway through my Christmas shopping by now, but I’m doing a lot of “custom” stuff this year, and we’ll know whether that was smart or not when we’re ten days from Christmas.

But my hubby, who loves pens, was looking through a writing instrument catalogue and wistfully eyeing a few. “They’re so nice,” he said, “but they’re too nice. I could never be comfortable spending that much on a pen, and besides, I’d eventually lose it. Then I’d feel awful.”

The catalogue went into the recycle bin — where they’ve mostly all gone, this year — but I took note, and when I learned that Sister Mary Woodworker over at Summit was making hand-crafted pens, I thought: he’ll still be heartbroken if he loses it, because it’s gorgeous, but at least it’s not ridiculously expensive.

And of course, the purchase supports the Dominican Nuns, whom we love.

So, I bought him this one (and it’s okay for me to show you, because he never reads my blog!)

It’s really very nice; it has a stylus tip, the wood-grain is beautiful, and it feels good in the hand. Writes nicely, too! I love it. I may order this elegant number for a female in the family who also never reads me. My picture isn’t good enough. To appreciate them you really need to check them out at the site.

While shopping with the nuns, I also couldn’t resist the lure of their new offering: 100% Beeswax Advent Candles. They arrived this weekend, beautifully packaged, and they’re formidable candles — much heavier than the standard candles I always buy, and which, too often, arrive cracked. I don’t know if my camera does justice to them, but the Sister Chandler has managed a truely rosy hue for the “not pink” candle, and the the purple candles are the reddish tinge that makes for a very sharp purple. I’m told the shades vary per batch, but I’m really happy with these and looking forward to using them at Advent, along with Lisa Hendey’s O Radiant Dawn: 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath.

Speaking of Advent and books, here are some recommendations for great Advent reading. This year I am adding Paula Huston’s novel A Land Without Sin to my list and also Tim and Sue Muldoon’s Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home (which you can read much more about at the Patheos Book Club, because Advent and the lead-in to Christmas is a good time to read up on how to attend to the spiritual need of the family.

The Norbertine Nuns have added their wreath-flyer to their website as they are now starting to take orders (pdf) for their super-fresh and lush Balsam wreaths. My always last right into February, although last year I didn’t get around to stripping the Christmas stuff off and adding little hearts!

Finally, two staples — things I always recommend people think about ordering, right about now: the guide books for the Christian Prayer (single book) version of the Liturgy of the Hours or for the 4-volumn set. I’ve been doing the office for so long, but still couldn’t survive without these.

About Elizabeth Scalia

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