One of the things that our family does during late Advent is to decorate the grottos outside of our parish. They were built by my great-grandfather, Edward Matthews. They started as a tribute to my late grand-uncle, Martin, who died as a teenager. The grounds of the parish are dotted with outdoor shrines made from stones collected from our county. He started decorating the grottos for the Nativity, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Benedict in the 1950s. After he died, my grandmother kept up the tradition, pulling in my father and grandfather. Likewise, my sisters and I were pulled into decorating when we were kids.
Last Saturday, my parents, my sister Sarah, a couple of Matthews/Huntsman cousins, Alie and the twins decorated the grottos with the standard trees, lights, and poinsettias.
Sarah and I putting the lights on one of the trees.
Mom keeping an eye on Joseph.
The Nativity grotto decorated.
St. Benedict, patron of our county.
Family photo. Pics of the grottos lit at night to follow... Happy Advent, everyone. Only a few more days!