Sunday, December 11, 2011

Festina Lente

Here we are on the third Sunday of Advent. Anticipation heightens as the days are marked one by one towards the celebration of Christ's birth. 

Festina lente is Latin for "make haste slowly" and is attributed to Caesar Augustus who was displeased with the rashness of one of his military commanders. It conveys the idea of attending to the urgent with diligence, doing something thoroughly. 

(Yes, that is the same Caesar Augustus who sent out the decree that "all the world should be taxed" that we read about in the biblical narrative of Christ's birth in Luke's gospel.)

So much needs to be done at this time of year - or I think it does. In truth, I like doing a lot for Christmas. And so, I must "hurry slowly," taking care that the things I do are worthwhile, that I do them well, in the proper way. 

Another adage that I wish I held to more closely is "anything worth doing is worth doing well." No half measures. No just "good enough." Excellence without perfection - is it possible? 

This year, with all that's happening in our lives, rather than do things halfway, some things are being left aside. No Christmas cards. Fewer decorations. Simple things like cedar cuttings in a silver jug instead of more elaborate arrangements. I'm liking this simplicity. 

How about you? Are you making haste slowly? Or rushing headlong? I'd love to hear your ideas for simplifying and deepening this beloved season.

Joining in A Pause in Advent, hosted by Floss.


  1. Make haste slowly is a very good mantra to have.
    I've pared down the decorating this year too.
    Just one tree and fewer garlands and wreaths indoors.
    Your tree looks wonderful and you've captured that elusive blue light that one hears so much about from the very keen photographers in blogland, well done!

  2. Your tree looks wonderful. I am taking things a bit slower this year and am also cutting down on the number of decorations I have up.

  3. Hi Lorrie!
    I DO like embracing simplicity. I want to savor the blessings of the Spirit in THIS day. Yes, day by day. Your cedar cuttings are indeed beautiful. I wish I could smell them. I wish YOU a joyful day!

  4. I love the quote . . . make haste slowly. My whole being has been leaning towards simplicity for several years now, although I totally enjoy viewing creative displays. The cedar boughs in silver jug is an exquisite arrangement. Great photos!

  5. Making 'haste' very slowly!
    How elegant your tree is.

  6. Thanks for the great reminder Lori! I am not feeling rushed too badly this year,,, and the boys are both in college right until the 20th (exams). Then we leave for a relaxing time at Silver Star near Vernon. My parents are in Kelowna and we will meet up with them for 3 days there. So not alot to really do here in the country this year. Your home looks lovely, and the mantel looks so pretty as well. Enjoy the season!

  7. Festina Lente is a concept I hope I'm going to remember. I'm certainly not rushing headlong - I hope I'm going anywere at all at the moment! But I think everything is coming together at a simple level, ready for a Christmas of family, worship and food, not lots of details. I'm happy with that.

  8. It's time for me to be zipping along I'm afraid. I've let things slide beyond the "make haste slowly" stage OR have I? Perhaps I need to reread this. One thing I do know "haste makes waste." I think I'll choose to slow down and keep moving. I do want to make the holidays a joy for everyone who counts on me to do so.

  9. What a lovely post! I am thoroughly enjoying my haste slowly. :) I love doing all the things that I call traditions each year. I make sure I do not overbook and savor each event. Enjoy all your events! Kit

  10. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Happy advent! Thanks for all the sweet comments on my blog! It was wonderful to hear from you!!! I am your newest follower!

  11. What stunning photographs and beautiful decorations. They really do invoke a spirit of calm and simplicity. Beautiful. Thank you.

    As I type this Mr D in his study is whistling along to a Christmas song - what fun!

    Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year. God bless.

  12. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Ah, festina lente! Brings back Latin class memories. It's a good motto for all seasons, I think. At the holidays, I try to resist rushing and to focus on enjoying our traditions and creating new ones as our children get bigger. In terms of domestic simplicity, we have a few beloved decorations: some glass Christmas tree figurines, a beautiful wooden creche we bought in Germany, a small collection of framed needlepointed Santas and other holiday scenes that a dear family friend made for me. That's about all we do for decorations, besides some greens (the advent wreath and boughs here and there) and the tree. I do think less is more at home!


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