"A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot." - St. Augustine
I'm about 12% Alleluia on any given day, but I'm working on it.

“The Bells of Bethlehem” – My Contribution to the Adventhology Series

I know what you’re thinking. “Adventhology?” Don’t get it confused with my earlier involvement in this project:

This features 50% less side-kicking and four times the writerly goodness.

The Bells of Bethlehem

Adventhology is the newest brainchild of Ryan Charles Trusell, author of the Ora et Labora et Zombie series. A gifted writer himself, Ryan is equally dedicated to the craft of printing (watermarks! Hand-printed softcovers) and I was honored when he asked me to be part of this new “micropublishing adventure.”

Ryan has  collected short pieces from four writers, allowing me to ride on the coattails of Simcha Fisher, Dan Lord, and Brandon Vogt. Each of us contributed a reflection on some aspect of the Advent/Christmas season, printed in booklet form on fine paper with a hand-printed softcover. Yes, I know I have cited the hand-printed softcover twice in the first 130 words of this blog post, but in my defense: I like paper. But hey, so does Brandon:

Like Ryan’s serial novel, the quality here is impeccable. It’s not a slapdash weekend project; it’s true art. Each piece is published separately with a hand-printed softcover. The paper is fine 24lb bond, staple-bound into purple 110lb cover stock. The pages are machine cut so the edges are nice and square, the pages flush with the covers, which makes each finished product 6.75″ x 4.25″. The books are simply beautiful—not just in content, but in look and feel.

The Adventhology can be ordered as a set of all four pieces for $12 or individually for $3.50 each. What a creative gift idea – I know that I love to get books for Christmas but I’m often so spent by the time we reach the “finish line” of Christmas day that I just want to read something simple.

I’ll soon be sharing excerpts from Simcha, Dan, and Brandon’s contributions. For now, here’s a snippet of my own. It follows the tried-and-true formula of Christmas writing: salt dough ornaments, Columbia Records Stereo LPs, phone calls to the afterlife, obscure liturgical terminology, circling back around to gingerbread because we talked about death in the middle and need to end on a happy note. Your standard Advent-type essay.

Nostalgia tempts us to say “I’d really rather stay here, thanks” when it’s time to come back to the present. There are pieces of my heart left back in the past, and now that I am a mother myself there are more pieces walking around, growing out of their jackets and slamming the door behind them as they rush outside. One of the things I most enjoy about marriage is having someone else who treasures the trivial milestones of our children’s lives and wants to look back through all of our pictures.

So many pictures. What greater misery confronts the modern parent than that terrifying realization: I forgot the camera. How am I to give my children a home of love and warm memories if I do not document all of our days? Every so often I will happen upon a canister of undeveloped film from the first couple of years of my oldest child’s life, before we went digital and started taking ten times as many pictures. Having these photos developed is an unexpected gift of moments I’d completely forgotten about.

My thanks to Ryan, for inviting me to be part of this project. Learn more at the Adventhology website, and then order your set here.