Advent has begun. We have our little book of daily readings on the table and we read from it before breakfast each day. I always had an Advent calendar on the refrigerator when the kids were growing up. We decorated the Church for Advent last week. A small group of ladies, I call them the Church Mice, gathered and put our beautiful manger scene together. It is a huge manger...needing two heavy tables. The younger gals struggled with the tables and put them in a new place. On the opposite side of our Altar. We decided to change things up a bit this year. The Catholic Church is pretty conservative in decorating the Altar. We find that we don't all like change in our Altar decorations or music. We seem to sing the same hymns every week....so this was our way of changing people's attitudes, maybe. Sitting in Church on Saturday night, I noticed people coming in the door and doing a double take when they saw the Manger on the other side. There were a few grumbles..."We always had it on the other side " instead of commenting on how beautiful it was. Everything was cleaned and the color purple was used in place of the greens. I had the job of ironing the altar clothes and the huge green skirt that goes around the manger. That skirt went on and on. Whoever made it had quite a challenge. I could imagine her swathed in green cloth stitching away. It was so wrinkled and was difficult to iron.....until I found a spray can of Downy Wrinkle Release....oh my, what a difference! This is the best product. That green fabric just slipped away under my iron and I was done in no time. Then I had to do yards and yards of slippery purple fabric. It was my job to dress the Altar. if you are ever in Church and see the different draped Altar cloths and wonder how they are held on to the wood...I'll tell you a secret...tape. We use rolls and rolls of brown tape and even duct tape in some places. The draping of the fabric is so beautiful to the eye, but underneath....tape. I went to the Advent wreath that is up on a metal stand and draped the purple silky fabric and let it "puddle" on the carpet. Anything we want to hide has a drape of fabric. I did these jobs, while the younger gals pulled down boxes and hauled tables. We needed an extension ladder to put up the wreaths over the doors in the hallway. One of our group scaled the ladder and put it up. When the job was done...we stood back and looked at the splendor. We had worked all morning making our Church beautiful for the holiday season. When I sat there on Saturday evening, I got the feeling of Christmas and what it is all about.