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Surviving December


1. Movies On-Demand.
























I can't stomach the idea of paying for Netflix and our Red Box movies normally are the suck. So I can somehow justify spending $3.99 a movie to order from my couch. So far this month we've rented The Town (so good! it made my palms sweat!) and Date Night (hysssssterical). Since I pretty much live on the couch these days, and since all of my favorite shows decided to take a 6 week hiatus (yes, I'm talking to you Brothers and Sisters and Grey's Anatomy) I'm loving the On Demand this month. 





2. My new Canon T1i














When I was out camera shopping I went to a local store and told the guy behind the counter exactly what I wanted. He replied with something to the effect of - you're like a housewife that doesn't know how to boil water trying to buy the tools of a chef. I was super pissed and I stormed out of the store.



Well, he was halfway right. Dang dSLRs are not easy things to use out of the box. But I am trying really hard to read the manual (in between reading breastfeeding and sleep method books). And I just ordered the Canon T1i for Dummies book - cause clearly I qualify as a dummy - so I'm hoping that I'll be able to figure out how to take rockstar pictures before the twins are one. If my Christmas pictures were any indication, I have a lot of learning to do. Sigh.




3. Christmas Cards 
















If you sent us one, thank you. Joe and I spent Christmas alone this year - we weren't sure if the twins would come early and all of our family lives out of state so having them come to us, then leave and then possibly have to come back to us a few days later didn't make a lot of sense. So Christmas cards were our one connection to the outside world and even though we were alone, we felt so loved. 
















At 470 calories a pop, this little cup of heaven is something I would have NEVER drank if I wasn't already packing on the lbs. I seriously stop by Starbucks twice a week now for my special treat. In fact, some days it's the only reason I leave the house! Seriously, delish. I asked my local barista when they were taking their seasonal drinks off the menu and he told me just after the new year. Thank god. My ass can't afford for this deliciousness to be a permanent staple (on their menu or in my diet).

Understanding Fabric Yardage

Husband and I recently upgraded to a king sized mattress. Why we waited so long, I have no idea. It is simply heaven! We used to think the queen was so nice because we could sleep near each other and be close. I guess that's what ten years will do to you...we are very happy on our opposite sides of the equator now!



Anywho, I was hoping to purchase an upholstered bed and headboard unit, but I can't find anything I love and we need a headboard. I keep losing my pillows behind the bed. So after reading several tutorials, I convinced the husband to make a headboard with me this weekend until we can find something we love (or maybe until we move into our forever house).



Here are the tutorials for anyone that might be interested in embarking on a similar project: Centsational Girl, Pink Wallpaper, Design*Sponge and Freckles Chick.



The goal is to make a headboard with this shape









and cover it with this fabric - Braemore/P. Kaufmann's Fioretto in Sandstone, which runs in a 54" width with a vertical repeat of 25.25"and a 9" horizontal repeat.










Before we cut any of the curves on our plywood, the wood will be 72" wide x 48" high. So in my head we would need 2 1/2 yards of fabric to create this headboard. Right? 





I'm tempted to build legs for the headboard too so that the headboard doesn't just hang there. So perhaps 3 yards would be better? 





I used an online yardage chart and it told me to buy 6 1/2 yards (insane). I'm thinking this is for people who create a full slipcover or something. But what do I care what the back looks like??





What do you think? Will 3 yards be enough? Thanks in advance! 

The Twins' Nursery

Please keep in mind I have a new camera that I don't know how to use, I don't know anything about the right type of light to shoot in, and I'm not able to get into many positions these days that would help make a shot look artful. In fact, I got stuck between a crib and a wall taking a few of the pictures below. Ouch! Anyway, I'm still super excited about the nursery, even if I'm not Ansel Adams!









{ the layout }












{ the starting point }









{ Closet Joe built so we'd have extra storage and each baby could have their own space. I told him what I wanted and he made it come to life. Love that man. }









{ View from the cribs looking out over the room, still waiting for a painting to come in which will go over the dresser/changing table. }





The art we're waiting on is a 30 x 40 watercolor map of Nantucket, similar to the one below. My best friend from college is an artist and sculptor (he helped create the new Harry Potter Theme Park!) and we commissioned him to create the map. I'm so excited and can't wait to see the final result. 










The babies glider is from Four Seasons Furniture. We loved that Four Seasons sells slipcovers independent of their chairs, so when this chair is no longer needed in the nursery, we can just order a new slipcover and relocate it elsewhere.  The chair is so comfortable it's ridiculous, and I can fit in it while wearing the My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow (which is ginormous). The woman that helped me rework the curtains in the room made me the cute bolster pillow with some leftover crib skirt fabric I had. 










{ The Libby XL slipcovered in P. Kaufmann's Baldwin Celery fabric }





The two pictures above the glider are from my nursery when I was a little girl. Over the summer my mom dumped a bunch of memory boxes on us cause she was tired of storing them. I was going through the boxes and found these pictures. Ironically they are of a little boy and a little girl. Each was matted and framed in colors that perfectly matched the room I had planned. It was kind of eerie. 










We thought two babies required two chairs. And we were super lucky that Joe's mom offered us the rocker she used for Joe when he was a baby. Joe was born in Germany and the rocker was purchased overseas. If you look at the wood stamp underneath it says "made in Yugoslavia", making it a true antique seeing as that country doesn't even exist anymore!










{ I purchased a yard of the crib skirt fabric and had a custom cushion made. }




Their dresser and changing table was an old unfinished pine dresser I've had for literally ten years. It used to be inside my closet. We found some green stain and Joe got to work on the dresser for me. He found the cute acrylic knobs all by himself! The changing pad cover is from PB Kids, and we got super lucky that it matched the twin's sheets perfectly.










{ I think the humidifier makes the picture, don't you? 


At least it's not our diaper genie :) }










{ view from the hallway looking into the nursery }










{ View from the closet looking out at the cribs, and a good shot of the infamous "R Wall" that nearly drove me to drink. }





The babies' other dresser is an Ikea Rast 3-Drawer Chest that Joe painted. I made knock-off Anthro knobs for the dresser (since paying more for hardware than for the piece itself was out of the question). I fell in love with the Catalina Magazine Rack from PB Kids and it seems to work well here. The babies already have more books than we know what to do with!












The design for our whole nursery started with the crib skirt fabric, which I found right around our first gender scan (16 weeks). The fabric is P. Kaufmann Gypsy in Spring. It's a really beachy mix of blues, greens and coral. A wonderful company called Javis Davis made the crib skirts for us. They arrived in within two weeks of ordering, and they are gorgeous in person. The crib sheets and bumpers are from Serena and Lily's Nursery Basics line, they are the penny dot in sprout and the sprout basics bumper.










{ extreme crib close up }





So the room is ready, we've had all of the major appliances in the house serviced, changed all the batteries in the smoke detectors, bought new carbon monoxide detectors and added doors to our bookcases which previously had open shelving. Now our babies just need to COME OUT. 16 days or less (and counting)!

2010 Goals Round-Up: How'd I Do?

Every year Joe and I set goals for our family and then set our own personal goals. It's part of my type-a plan for world domination. In all seriousness, I like thinking about resolutions as promises to one's self rather than a list of things that are forgotten on January 31.



Usually we evaluate our year in September, then we adjust the goals that are left (if necessary) and make a short list of what we think we can finish/accomplish before the year ends. Any unmet goals are saved for the following year.



So while we did our almost-end-of-year goal evaluation in private this year, I thought I'd fess up about what I actually accomplished in 2010.



Personal Goals



  • Make an effort to be a nicer, more cheerful person


I think getting out from under the shroud of infertility certainly helped with my overall demeanor. I tend not to sugar coat things, so my honesty is sometimes perceived as unhappiness or melancholy when in actuality, I'm quite happy. I'm just telling it like it is, and that's actually a quality I like about myself.


  • Try to not talk badly about others and keep negative opinions to myself


This goal created something I'd call a "teachable moment" in my life. I realized I'll never be one of those people that likes everyone and that everyone likes. You know the kind of girls I'm talking about. They were probably your high school's homecoming queen. Instead I chose to embrace my odd sense of humor, and have had a lot of fun with friends this year conversing about bad relationships, worse outfits and the trainwrecks on 16 and pregnant. And I've enjoyed every second of it.


  • Make more time for family and friends


I made huge strides in this area, traveling home to Florida and Jersey for big and small family events and scheduling lunches with friends as often as possible. It was awesome and I felt so much more connected! 



  • Make every day count, and try to live more in the moment


Let me be honest. I've wished away most of this year because of discomfort or frustration. Yes, I'm grateful. But no, I didn't always live in the moment.




Fitness Goals



  • Get a bike and ride 100 miles in the Tour de Cure this summer

  • Run one road race each month from April to September

  • Run 500 miles in a year


I met zero of my fitness goals this year. I got pregnant in January, miscarried, had a D&C and then cycled for IVF #2 when I conceived the twins. Races weren't even a blip on my radar most days and by the time the Tour came around I was ten weeks pregnant with the twins and having spontaneous bleeds. 



While I didn't accomplish these goals specifically, I shocked myself by being able to run through my 14th week of pregnancy, spin through my 28th week of pregnancy and swim through my 32nd week of pregnancy. Not a set goal, but not a bad accomplishment!



Career Goals



  • Find a career path that will let me be my own boss


I halfway accomplished this. I started doing freelance work around August and left my full-time job in October. Right now I'm focusing on the babies, but I plan on pursuing the freelance thing with more force in 2011, once we get some sort of routine going with the kids.



Life Goals



  • Plan two fun vacations and one *relaxing* staycation!


ACCOMPLISHED! Husband and I went to Paris, Nantucket and took a week off in October to just hang out at home and work on the nursery. (We also snuck in a trip to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and Quebec City.)



  • Cook at home three times a week


This lasted 5 months or until my first trimester. All I can do is laugh because it was the dead of summer and I couldn't stomach grilled food. I subsisted off of chicken broth and plain noodles. Of course, I had just bought the husband a new grill and he never got to use it!



  • Find ways to increase the emotional and physical intimacy in our marriage


With the IVF's, the D&C, the subchorionic hematoma and a multiples pregnancy I've pretty much been on pelvic rest since January. That's right folks. No sex for the entire year, doctor's orders. You can forward condolences onto my husband. However, it's forced us to talk more, cuddle more and be more honest with each other than we previously thought possible. So I would say this goal was accomplished emotionally, and physically...well, let's hope 2011 is a better year!




House Goals



  • extend our back patio (done!)

  • plant a perennial garden (done!)

  • finish painting our hallway, trim and laundry room (done!)

  • finish furnishing and accessorizing our home (*done!)

  • hold a garage sale, donate whatever doesn't sell to charity (done!)


ACCOMPLISHED! The only room we have left to finish is our master bedroom. But it took a backseat to the nursery, so the master bedroom will be back on the list in 2011. Although, truth be told, it has furniture and a bed, and we can survive like this for many years to come.



Financial Goals



  • pay down 20% of our mortgage



Well, we saved up enough to pay down 20% of the mortgage, and then we saved some more. But we decided to hold off on actually making the payment until May of next year. With the twins on the way and me giving up my full-time job, we thought having a sizable savings was better than not having PMI. 





I'm almost done with my goal list for 2011, it's funny how your goals and ideas change in a year...

Bethlehem -the House of Bread-

Midnight Mass offered for our families, friends
and those who oppose us.

In a letter that I have often needed to quote
Blessed Charles de Foucauld excused himself to his niece by saying:
"The silence of the cloister
is not the silence of forgetfulness".

This year has not been a year for Christmas cards
please excuse us.
Our silence
has not been a silence of forgetfulness.

Last night's Midnight Mass was especially offered
for our families, friends and all
who have been in contact with us over the last year.

In the joy of this Holy Night and Holy Day
of
Christmas
we have offered the Midnight Mass for you
asking the Holy Virgin's Infant to bless you from our altar
where He was born for us all.
What can Christmas be without Christ in our hearts?
Where else does He come in His own Flesh and Blood except in the Mass?
O wonderful feast of Christ's-Mass!

In the darkness of this Christmas night His light dawned for us;
A Light the darkness cannot overpower;
He shines in the stable of Bethlehem.

Every Catholic church is Bethlehem,
(for Bethlehem means the House of Bread)
where, under the form of Bread,
in ever Mass,
Jesus Christ is born on our altars
and day and night dwells amongst us in the tabernacle.


Christ, by highest Heaven adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord.
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin's womb!
Veiled as Bread the Godhead see,
Hail the Incarnate Deity!

Pleased as Bread with man to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hark ! the herald Angels sing
Glory to the the new born King.

We wish you a Blessed and Merry feast of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!




20 Days or Less







I'm rounding the corner on 36 weeks now (even my butt is looking pregnant these days). I could sit here and complain until the cows come home about what aches, the insecurities I have regarding my new body, and how nervous I am about this new phase in my life. But really, today I'm just thankful. 





I'm thankful that both of my peanuts are over 5 pounds, they both got perfect scores (an 8) on their first biophysical profile and I am so healthy they're going to make it all the way to term. I'll figure out how to put myself back together later!





A few other nuggets I want to keep forever -


  • I love my husband now more than ever. For a million little reasons. If I could have seen the man that he'd become when I married him, I'm convinced I would have been more excited to marry him that day. 

  • Today, after I took that picture above (and nearly cried over the sight of it) and then proceeded to get onto a scale at the doctor's office (and nearly cried over the sight of it) I was sitting on the couch and my husband looked at me and said "you're super hot, I kind of have a crush on you".  

  • Every time I text my dad an update about the babies he gets so excited he extends words in his replies. Much of our conversations look like this, Me: Daddy, the babies are each over 5 pounds now. Him: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. 

  • My son's favorite time of day is 5:30 a.m. Every morning I wake up around then because he's punched me in the bladder, some days I barely make it to the bathroom. And then we lie in bed together, while his sister is still (somehow) sleeping and he rolls and punches and kicks while I rub his belly and his bottom. We go back to bed around 7:30.

  • My daughter loves bath time. As soon as I lie in the tub she squirms. If I drip water on my belly she kicks and punches at the droplets. I can't wait to lie in the tub with her as an outside baby and see the look on her face when the water touches her toes.

  • At 36 weeks, I can still wear my wedding rings. I feel like there should be some sort of prize for that.



I think that's all for now. Their nursery is almost done, just a few more things to hang on the wall. I hope to post pictures of it next week. Merry Christmas!



ETA: Thank you Spearmint Baby for including me in your bump feature! How fun. Hello to all my new followers! Can't wait to "meet" you.  

Some Calendars Still Available


It is still not too late to order one
of the remaining copies of the

Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2011
,
or to purchase extras.

Please click the relevant link:

UK
USA

Or, alternatively, if you are not yet
a Catholic subscriber
why not become one
and receive your calendar
with the latest issue.


Please use the button at the top left of this bar
(marked "Subscribe to the Catholic Newspaper")
to do so.

counting the days...

with just days to go until Christmas things are ticking along nicely...
Our #1 is back in the shed,
she arrived with an english accent and a bag full of Chocolate.
little olive has reached her peak of fitness
and i am actually really rather proud.
for some time ago she confessed to a fear of heights,
which as you can imagine is tres tricky if you wish to guide Santa's sleigh.
so for the past few days she has bravely practiced looking down...


this year her antlers are bigger than last years set,
indeed they are quite on the loose side of things.
however little olive has taken to wearing them day and night,
and i have high hopes come Christmas Eve,
she will have mastered them perfectly

and so my dearest readers, as hard as it is to believe,
yet another year has whizzed on by
and i am left again marveling at all the things that have past.
i know for some the holiday season can be a little lonely,
or indeed a little sad,
loved ones no longer with us and family far away.
for many this year, in old blighty and europe,
the snows have caused plans to be changed.
so where ever you are,
whatever you celebrate this time of year
and with whom (two or four legged friends a like).
i am thanking you for the kindness you continue to show me
and may your season be filled with
a little joy,
a little peace
and
a little crafting...

she is wishing you a 'peachiest of peachy' new year ~ Tif

Keeping the silence

From 10th - 21st December
Four Brothers are making their annual Retreat.
Since they are on silence during this time
and each takes his meals in the solitude of his cell
we hear and see little of them until after Mass on St. Thomas.

Retreatant clearing the snow before his cell.

The Way of Bethlehem

During the novena for Christmas we make the Way of Bethlehem. It's like the Way of the Cross only the subjects of the stations are taken from the mysteries of Christmas and Christ's infancy: The Son of God Becomes an Infant, Jesus is Born an Infant, Jesus is Nourished, Jesus is Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes, Jesus is Circumcised, Jesus is adored by the Magi, Jesus is Presented in the Temple, Jesus Flies into Egypt, Jesus is Freed from the Swaddling-bands, Jesus Begins to Walk, Jesus Sleeps, Jesus the Fisher of Men.

This year we set up a station in the Ave Marias (small anti-chamber of each cell) of the cells.


We processed from station to station, singing hymns between each.


Entering in to one of the Stations.


Each Ave Maria has a small altar which the occupant of the cell decorates. We use these for the stations.


V. Christ is at hand.
R. Come let us worship Him.


Having completed the 12 stations the processions moves to the Chapel for the concluding prayer.


Knock, and it shall be opened to you. (Matt, 7:7)


The concluding prayers.


This morning the snow and fallen heavily, and continued all day. We tried very hard to get the cat to come in out of the snow, but she was quite content and took absolutely no notice of our entreaties!


The Via Paparum in the snow.


Br. Alphonso putting the leftover crumbs of bread out for the birds.


Bedrest Bites

Not that it would matter if I wasn't on bedrest, because I have ZERO energy.



My life consists of picking one errand each day which will force me to wash myself, but still allow me to get home quickly to reclaim my spot on the couch. How do I know it's my spot on the couch? There's a permanent impression there now which perfectly fits the shape of my sedentary ass.



If you looked up ennui in the dictionary, I'm sure you'd find my face propped next to the definition. I keep thinking, "I'm so bored I could die!" which totally makes me think of this episode of SATC. I wish my sister was here so we could have SATC marathons like we did back in the day, when laying on the couch all day in pajamas was fun.












home for the holidays...

just a few hours to go and i will be leaving for the airport to pick up Our #1.
i spent my morning wisely pottling around and achieving very little for my pottling ways except a few stitches.


i also managed to write a sign saying "welcome home sweetie" which i promptly attached to a large Father Christmas balloon i bought at the grocery store, intent on taking to the airport with me.

i have no idea what came over me, i am not a grocery store balloon kind of person but the moment seized me as i bought the carrots, the oranges and the sunchips (all good stuff from the food group 'orange')... i noted mothers all around with little children in their carts, i was struck by the moment, that moment that hits you when you know life has moved on, that your days of stuffing kids into carts and bribing them around the grocery store are long gone. when your rose colored specs fall into place, those moments are always recalled with fondness.

as i bought the over sized Father Christmas balloon, i stood with glistening eyes, telling the lady who the balloon was for. can it really be 122 days have gone by and now the day has come when she will be back in our family nest for 11 whole peachy, festive, gleeful days and then she will be gone again. this time around it will be far longer than 122 days, more like 222.
but that is okay, for i will be busy preparing for Our #2 to fly the nest next summer, she too choosing to spread her wings to adventures far away. i am quite sure by the time Our #4 leaves i will be a dab hand at this apron string cutting lark

and so tomorrow i have quite the jam packed thrilling day planned for her, first we will go and look at bi-focal lenses for me and then we will head to the thrift store! she will go her way to the clothing, i will go mine to the knick knack department, we will meet half way and compare our finds and it will, dearest readers, i am quite positively sure, feel like old times, the very good sort of old times that keeps one going on the days when the distance seems unbearable.

she is thanking you so very kindly for the lovely words concerning her dottie angel fim and wishes you the peachiest of weekends ~ Tif

Itzy Ritzy Snack Bags and Nantucket

Just ordered some ridiculously cute reusable snack bags from Itzy Ritzy. I'm not big on throwing away ziploc bags so, when I can, I wash and reuse them. Total pain in the tush! Hopefully these help us transition away from plastic altogether.








I scored a great deal on the bags through Zulily. They were offering up a $40 voucher for $20 and I had a $20 account credit from people who signed up through this blog to be Zulily members (if you signed up, thank you!) I managed to get 6 bags for under $30 total!







They get great reviews from mommy bloggers, so we'll see if they're as functional as they are cute. So...a little girl and boy eating snacks at the beach brings me to my second point of discussion. December is normally the time we rent our beach house and book our ferry for Nantucket. We've talked about what we're going to do for next year and haven't come up with a solid plan at all.



Originally we thought (since this will be our only vacation for the year) that we'd rent a larger house for two weeks and invite family out to the island. This way we'd have help with the twins AND get to visit with family, essentially killing two birds with one stone. But I don't know how I feel about



  • being away from home for two weeks with 8 month old twins,

  • being on vacation with family (is it really a vacation if you take your in-laws or parents?) and

  • spending what we'd need to spend in order to rent a house on the island for two weeks in August.


Then we thought we'd go on our own for a week, per normal, and rent the same house we always rent. I wonder how we'll do - two babies and a dog on our own?









Last thought was to rent a slightly larger house than normal and bring our friend's daughter with us (and let her bring a friend) this way we have a sitter on island that can watch the babies if we want to go out to dinner and we have a few extra sets of hands, but the extra hands don't come with the extra baggage of family.





Thoughts? Anyone vacation with twins in the first year? How about vacationing with family? Any experience with that? I'd love some help and advice with this!

i do believe...

this morning upon pulling our bedroom curtains open, i noted a package of green and red placed quite neatly at the base of our fence next to our driveway...


i hoppity skipped down the stairs and out into the cold
and that is when dearest readers a warm glow filled my heart, the glow of glee. for upon my driveway was a bag of red bows, upon my fence three of them already happily doing their gleeful thing.


now if you may recall, our #4 had noted upon his father installing greenery along the fence, that indeed it looked as though the tree branches had fallen from above and we had yet to clear up the debris. however not any longer, no sirree! through another's kindness, a small gleeful miracle has happened at Mossy Shed.
our fence is now 'a glow' with it's branches, lights and red bows and once again i find myself marvelling at the kindness of others...


she does believe in small miracles and she is wishing you one of your own, this gleeful season ~ Tif

dottie angel... once upon a time


Mr Internet and i had a falling out over the past few days, 'twas not the best timing for us to part ways, indeed i could have wept at his departure... however i am delighted beyond all delights to report we are back together, i say forever, but he says he cannot commit to forever and says he wishes to take it one day at a time.


so without further a do, feeling like i am a little late to the party, (but always better late than never) i am tres delighted to show you a dottie angel film Janine and her brilliantly, brilliant filming skills created.
when Janine and her clan came to stay in October, she felt it a grand idea to do a little bit of filming so folks that do not know me, may have an introduction to dottie angel and life at Mossy Shed. i am also thinking perhaps folks that do know me and my blog may indeed still enjoy seeing a little bit of my world, after all usually i am pictured with no head and in my classic Flat Stanley pose.

i must confess i was a little nervy about it, having only ever featured in home videos of long ago, the days of when four small children were crammed into our bed, 4:00am Christmas morning and my man thinking it perfectly perfect to record the moment.
but a film about me featuring in no particular order, billy-no-mates, used dog, little olive, Mr Shark and Miss Ethel, well now that truly was a completely different kettle of fish... when i first saw the short film a few weeks back, i must tell you i was quite moved by how Janine had truly captured me and my day to day life, when my clan are out and it is just me, my critters and my crafting. a time for my imagination to shine...



Dottie Angel's Once Upon a Time from Etsy on Vimeo.

and so on Tuesday, a little bit of dottie angel aired on Etsy's peachy blog, along with a lovely write up from Janine.
i feel most fortunate indeed to have Janine, the Etsy team and you of course, my dearest readers, to believe in my imagination, making me feel it is okay to be me. that is truly the kindest gift one can ever give, i believe and so i am thanking you kindly for allowing me to share a little piece of me every time i ramble here and in these two films by the talented Janine Vangool



A thrifty moment with dottie angel from UPPERCASE gallery on Vimeo.

she is down to 22 hours and her first born will be home for the holidays ~ Tif

Taking Christ out of Xmas

At this time of year,
it is possible to hear that by writing
Xmas to abbreviate the word Christmas,
we are joining the secular world
and,
effectively,
taking Christ out of Christmas
as if we had put an X through His Holy Name.

But not so!
Such is not a traditional insight.
This is a false new notion
that threatens to take Christ out of Xmas
and fill us with fear of using the hallowed abbreviation.

This is then a good time to remember
that the use of the letter X
comes from the original Greek of the Gospel
and is one of the very ancient abbreviations in our language
that precisely means
Christ.


When we look at the picture of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour
we see that the letters above the Infant Jesus
are
IC XC
the abbreviation for
Jesus (IC) Christ (XC).


In the Greek of the Gospels,
the word Christ
Christos is written as Χριστός,
and the letter X
is just the first letter of his name.
Thus the icon writes the first and last letter of Χριστός
as
XC.
Not all did this.
Some abbreviated Christ to the first two Greek letters Xp.


The X in Xmas
is the Greek letter equivalent to the English letters Ch;
monks and priests have used it for centuries
when writing the Holy Name of Christ.

In English Xt is a common ecclesiastical abbreviation fo Christ.
Seminarians with fast speaking professors
often come to writing
Xt for Christ or even Xh for Church.

The most ancient way to abbreviate Christ's name
was Xp
which in English is the same as
Xr
(since the Greek for 'r' is written as 'p').
That abbreviation -the XP- shown above to the right of Christ
comes from the catacombs.


The XP is also is often seen on sacred vestments;
it is the abbreviation and monogram for Christ.



The Anglo Saxon Cronicle.

In our own language we find the Greek Xp
first rendered in English as
Xr.

In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle written about 1100 we read
Christmas
abbreviated to
Xres mæsse.

About the same time that we have this abbreviation for Christmas,
we also have an example in the donation Inventory
written by Bishop Leofric
of England
(1046 - 1073)
who records the gift of a Saxon Gospel thus:

Englisc Xres-boc
English Christ-book
He also used the Xr abbreviation in Xres-boc for Christ-book.

(Illustrations of Anglo Saxon Poetry, John Conybeare, London, 1826, p. 199)

Xmas is an ancient abbreviation for Christmas.
Its use does not "take Christ out of Christmas".
Its use continues the ancient style of
uniting the Greek X of the Gospel to our English language,
as our forebears have done
for nearly a thousand years.

Let us keep Christ both in Xmas
and indeed in Christmas too.

 

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