Friday, December 04, 2015

Two-Three-Four. Opening New Advent Calendar Doors

Source Unknown

Let's Begin. As I thought about what I'd like to focus on during the December count-down this year, there were several thoughts swirling around in my head -- much like the snowstorm that happens in those pretty little snow globes.

When the snowflakes finally settled back down, one thing became clear -- I wanted to open the doors to this online advent calendar each morning to share some small treat for you -- whether it's a favourite photo or painting, a song that feels special this year, words I find meaningful, something lovely, something sweet or jolly, something peaceful or sacred. Maybe a guest post or two. Or even a little giveaway.  

The path is still not quite clear as to where I'm heading with it yet; it feels a little like taking a walk on a misty morning, and so every morning I might be as surprised as you! Because I'm on the look out for what will make this Christmas special for me -- what catches my breath or imagination, or just makes me feel happy as we anticipate these next weeks. What I do hope is that you will be glad you stopped by for a moment before you head off into your own day of preparation and waiting.

As you will note I'm a little behind at getting this going, so today we're catching up on what I would have posted earlier this week if my 'bright' ideas had arrived sooner. This morning we have Doors 1, 2, 3, and 4 for you as you scroll down. Then we hope to post every morning until December 24th.

Wishing you a happy Friday with hugs,


Door 1. December Is Here

As you know I did welcome December on Day 1 with that pretty holly photo along with my accompanying list of 43 seasonal favourites. If you missed it on Tuesday, here's the link.


Door 2. Medieval Carol

I heard this lovely version of a seasonal favourite O Come, O Come Emmanuel this past weekend over at Nancy's. Once I'd heard the last note sung of this beautifully poignant carol, I knew Advent had officially begun for me.

This carol was originally written in Latin text in the 12th century. Apparently both the author of the words and the composer of the music are unknown, although it is believed the melody is of French origin. Wherever it originated, I'm grateful it survived the centuries so we can enjoy its beauty in 2015.

Door 3. Vintage Ornaments
Source:, artist unknown

Isn't this painting of a box of old fashioned tree baubles lovely? I love it for it reminds me so much of the fragile boxes of ornaments we had when I was a girl growing up. Just seeing this picture with these pretty ornaments -- so easily crushed if not handled gently -- and I'm standing in our cozy farm living room where we're surrounded by The Boxes from the attic, waiting for the moment to hang that first ball on the tree. First, thoughtfully choosing which one it will be. Oh joy, oh bliss! I feel a grin spreading across my face at the thought of those happy moments that are now decades old.


Door 4. Cathedral Window Cookies 

My mom used to make them for our family at Christmas time, and ohhhh, they were a toothsome concoction. Sweet, chocolate-y, with wisps of coconut and crunchy with walnuts or pecans. I love these straight out of the freezer, no need to let them thaw.

It's been years since we've had these, but in my old fashioned mood this year, these have been added to my list of Christmas baking to serve at our family Christmas get together this year. I went in search of a recipe for these cathedral window cookies and plan to use the easy recipe from It looks very much like the one my mom used.

Apparently cathedral window cookies get their name from the colorful miniature marshmallows that are thought to mimic the appearance of a stained glass window. I don't remember what name my mom used for these sweet treats, but as kids we loved them.



  1. Dear Beautiful Bloggers, I don't know if anyone else is having problems with their Blogger blogrolls, but mine isn't updating, either on my own blog or when I see my link in other people's blogs. Is anyone else experiencing this? I've looking online for some answers, not finding much that's helpful so far.

    Chat soon... Brenda

  2. Brenda, mine seem to be okay so far. It's probably the Grinch trying to find a way to keep your spirits in control. Lovely advent calendar, my friend.

  3. I love the "Old Fashion" and very thoughtful advent post!
    You have put a lot of thought and goodies into this post. It's like opening a gift. Thank you for taking the time to crate such warmth.

  4. Oh my childhood is diminished by never having had Cathedral Window Cookies. Hope they live up to the memories! I very much enjoyed that version of O Come O Come of my favorites.

  5. What a fun way to work yourself into the Christmas spirit Brenda! Beautiful music, lovely artwork, and tasty treats! I have seen this cookie in my Company's Coming cookbook, but have never tried it. I have a few recipes that have become favourites here with my family, but I still remember all those Christmas cookies my own Mom made too. Good memories!

  6. I love O Come, O Come Emmanuel! It is a great song. Hayley W has a lovely voice. Mmmmm, those cookies look Amazing!x

  7. Love your online Advent calendar idea, Brenda! I've never had cathedral cookies and would love to try them!

    My Blogger blogroll seems to be updating regularly, although sometimes there is a delay...

  8. Cathedral Window cookies are a must around here every year. They are a hands down favorite. But I don't roll them in coconut or nuts - just icing sugar. I like the coconut version but some around here would turn up their noses.
    My blog roll is acting normally, hope yours soon shapes up! The online Advent calendar is a sweet idea, Brenda.

  9. My blogroll must have been lagging behind as well for I can't believe I've missed your on-line advent postings but I'm catching up now.
    I've had the cathedral window cookies before but think they were called something else. My mother often made the dessert of these marshmallows, sour cream and clementine oranges too which we loved.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo