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
  • Charles

    thanks a bundle for the info concerning the OP nuns–did some of my Christmas shopping.

  • lplee

    I used your recommendations last year for kids presents and they were such a hit! Will you be doing the same this year??

  • chrysalis fx

    All the “nun-presents” look lovely.

  • MeanLizzie

    Yeah, they were hits with my giftees, too. If I have time I will try to do it again this year.

  • Mary DeTurris Poust

    I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Almost no one in my family reads my blog either. My father is always surprised when other people — his neighbor, his best friend — know things about me. The blog, dad, the blog.

  • MeanLizzie

    Yes, it’s strange, my family and my husband’s, they couldn’t care less — in fact, most of the time, when they ask what I do, they follow that up with, “you WRITE? Why would someone WRITE?” On the other hand, my kids friends read the blog and one of them had the odd experience of taking a girl out on a date and having her mention the blog. Which put him in a weird position…should he tell her he knew me? I don’t know if she liked me or not…perhaps if she’d liked me, he wouldn’t have hesitated. :-)

  • vox borealis

    Every year I swear that I’m going to get my Advent candles early, and every year I end up scrambling to find them, usually a fews after the first Sunday of Advent. They’re getting harder and harder to find in “regular” stores, it seems.

  • Victor

    (((usually I am halfway through my Christmas shopping by now)))
    And I thought my wife was usually quick but then I guess that you also have a large family to buy for.
    I don’t want to get off topic of those beautiful gifts that your talking about and I’m sure that they are in order to help these people in need of a little advertising.
    Forgive me Anchoress but what are we going to do about all of these Merry Xmas, Season Greetings and the likes that we keep seeing more and more of during these last few years? Don’t they all know that we are celebrating The Birth Day of Our Lord and Savior NOW!
    I hear YA! Don’t panic Victor! “IT” is coming soon! :)
    God Bless Peace