The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday, or Rejoice! Sunday. The day to celebrate passing the halfway point of Advent preparation and to rejoice in the coming birth of Christ, it's based on the verse from Phil 4: 4,5 (there's an excellent essay on this verse in relation to Friday's events here).
We chose to carry forward our annual celebration knowing the laughter, camaraderie, sugar high and fun would benefit us all. This year, each of our Gingerbread House Decorating Party participates received their own house. I used this recipe for both the houses and the icing, and they worked like a charm! We paired our fun-loving teens with our smallest creators (see that picture of Classic Rock up there with sweet Sam and Irish Jig with awesome Kate) and let the rest of the crowd fend for themselves. With several batches of icing at the ready for refills, each child attacked their houses with a plan and a purpose. The only rules are no fighting over candy items and the board around the house must also be decorated. There were swimming pools, walkways, goldfish ponds, hammocks, and even a miniature ATV for the gingerbread man's use. Watching these children create and share their excitement brought joy to all of the adults.
There was much laughter, a fair amount of trash talk (the good kind), and much consultation. Several engineering projects resulted in standing Christmas trees, gingerbread men, and rooftop ornamentation. We look forward to this event each year and are so happy our friends are willing to allow one day of unsupervised candy mayhem.
Today's post title is the first line of the wonderful medieval hymn, Gaudete! I'd had the opportunity to sing it with various choirs and it's absolutely beautiful - lively, rejoicing, and uplifting. For a translation of the Latin, please visit this site.