Sunday 3 December 2017

Mosaic Monday # 64 - Advent, a time for reflection, preparation and tradition.

“Let’s approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.”
Today, December 3rd, is the first Sunday in Advent a day that for me heralds the start of the Christmas season.
Although I'm not a religious person and do not attend Church services, I was baptised in the Methodist Church and as a child attended church services with my parents.
One year I appeared in the Sunday School Nativity play as Mary, every little girl's dream. My doll Nancy took the part of the Baby Jesus. Since then, as an adult, I've developed a more private, personal relationship with Spirit more in keeping with my beliefs.
One of my Advent traditions is to write our Christmas cards on the first Sunday in Advent. As I page through my Christmas address book I can't help reflecting upon the names of those friends and family members who are no longer with us and think fondly of happy times spent together.

A big part of preparing for Christmas is to dust off my favourite Christmas cookery books and look through them for tried and tested recipes as well as something new to delight our taste buds this year. Delia, Nigella and the Hairy Bikers are all old friends who never fail to inspire.

However, I found a new mince pie recipe in the December edition of BBC's Good Food Magazine last week and decided to try it out.

Click here for the recipe.

They turned out to be quite crumbly, the Senior Partner thought that they were too "biscuity".
Filled to the top with Delia's Christmas mincemeat, which has been aging nicely in the pantry for the past 12 months, I thought they were delicious despite being a little more rustic looking than ones I've baked before.

Another of my favourite Advent traditions is creating an Advent wreath as part of my Christmas décor. I first learned about this tradition when we moved from England to live in Bavaria in the early 1980's.

For Christmas this year I plan on dressing our large tree and fireplace mantel in red, white and silver, this silver and white advent wreath will sit on the coffee table in that room. Once the tree and mantel are decorated I may add a few red accents, such as berries or tiny beads, to the wreath or I may leave it as it is, we'll see.
How's your decorating coming along? Care to share some of your family's Christmas traditions with the Mosaic Monday crowd?
There are just two more weeks of "Mosaic Monday 2017" before we take a break for the holidays, fear not though MM will be returning in the New Year.
That's two more opportunities you'll have to tell us your stories, if you wish. I plan on blogging some more about what Christmas looks like here in Normandy so please do join me.
No pressure though, your blog topic as always for Mosaic Monday can be about anything you wish, the only MM "rule" is that the post must include at least one mosaic.


  1. Lovely photos with a 'Christmasfeeling'.

  2. I will be making Christmas cards this up coming week. I love ther 'hush' not the 'rush'.

  3. By the way: the little mince pies look yummy

  4. Hi Maggie
    Your mincemeat pies look delicious and your Christmas color scheme sounds very elegant. I am slowly beginning to decorate my house for Christmas, and I ordered photo cards of my family to use as Christmas cards. Next,in the upcoming weeks, I'll also be beginning to bake some traditional and favorite cookies. The Christmas season is really is a time to enjoy and savor!

  5. Maggie, it appears we are much on the same page. I will look forward to sharing Christmas traditions with MM over the next two weeks. I love this season of reflection and preparation.
    Your mince pies look great, although I can't abide mincemeat, and only make them occasionally for my husband. I've been baking and cleaning, with a little decorating thrown in. No tree yet - that won't be up until after the 15th of the month.
    Thank you for hosting MM.

  6. It isgood to be back is so generous of you to open your beautiful home to us ... it really does feel as if I dropped in for a morning visit (mince pie included). I love the quote at the beginning and all of your Advent traditions., but breathed a sigh of relief at your last paragraph because tradition doesn’t seem to be a big part of our lives these days somehow. Thanks for letting me link my untraditional “ adventure”and thank you as always for hosting.

  7. Dearest Maggie; Thank you so much sharing your way of Christmas tradition☆☆☆ I wish I could try your pie :-) With my age, Christmas reminds me SWEET cake and lovely time with my late family members♪
    Have a wonderful year end season.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  8. Those mince pies look yummy, Maggie. I like them golden brown and crumbly on the outside and sweet and juicy on the inside. Must be my mouthful of Greek sweet teeth!
    We are experiencing a mini wintry spell of weather right at the beginning of our Summer, so having some traditional cold weather Christmas fare sounds very attractive at the moment!

  9. I have Nigella's FEAST cookbook and I love it. Her lemon meringue cake is the best -- highly recommended! I need to revisit it for something new for Christmas!

    I love this season -- my cards are partly done. I just need to be disciplined!

  10. PS: A peaceful Advent for you and your loved ones, Maggie.

  11. What a nice post. I spent Sunday morning writing Christmas cards and hope to do a few more today. I spent most of my life not keeping Christmas because of religious beliefs and I still don't have a 'traditional' Christmas. So I'll enjoy reading these posts this month. Happy MM! Hugs!

  12. Dear Maggie - I read with interests about how you prepare for the Christmas. Christmas in Japan is too commercialized, but many people including me get the idea and enjoy Christmas with shared meals and gifts from Santa Clause (especially when you have little children or grandchildren.) Secular Christ-mas must sound strange, but I think we keep the spirit of giving and sharing, and love and forgive each other. Your preparing for Christmas is like mine for the New Year. I write new year cards instead of Christmas cards. As soon as Christmas is over, I change the home decoration into traditional Japanese one, cook traditional New Year dishes, and prepare “otoshidama” for children who join the family reunion.

    One of the nicest things in blogosphere this year is to be part of Mosaic Monday. I’m having a blog break for the sake of my family for a while, but I’d like to join in next year. Wish you a joyful Holiday Season and a peaceful New Year.


  13. Thank you Maggie for sharing your Christmas traditions. We have 'quieted down' our Christmas traditions as family grew up and so the tree became a table top tree. I put a fresh wreath on the front door and the stockings will be hung. I make groups of Christmas decorations on trays so they can be moved if necessary. I loved seeing and reading about your Christmas decorations and plans. Hugs.

  14. Maggie - your quote for Advent is right on point. As I write this, everyone in my household (especially the cats) is taking a nap! Part of our Christmas tradition includes writing a Christmas letter to update our friends and family on events in our life. We also bake Christmas cakes (this comes from my husband's UK heritage - they are super rich fruitcakes!) As for decorating, we will start soon now that our daughter has arrived home. More to come in future posts! Thanks for hosting!

  15. Maggie, here it is Monday evening, and I'm just now adding my link. I woke up to an early appointment and away from the house all day. Thanks for hosting and sorry to be late to the party!
    I like your approach to the holidays, Maggie. I used to be faithful about writing Christmas cards, but not so much in recent years. Seeing your cards in the image above makes me want to send some this year. Yours are lovely!
    Happy days ahead, my friend. Let's live that quote!

  16. Your post reminded me a few things, being raised Methodist. Doing the nativity in, of all places, our country school and my life sized baby doll Susie was the baby Jesus. And then the Christmas cards, the folks gone. The ones whom we have lost contact with. And I wish I had you discipline to do cards the first day of Advent. Tradition trumps routine, doesn't it? Happy Season.


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