Monday, December 16, 2013

Movie Recommendation - Joyeux Noel



I don't normally do movie reviews. I guess it is because I never get around to watching a movie until everyone else who wanted to see it has already seen it and that a review at that point seems redundant. I knew after seeing this movie, that I had to recommend it here on the blog. 

It is not a new movie, I warned you already that I am usually the last person to see a movie. It was released in 2006 and was nominated for an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe Award. But the true reason that I borrowed this movie from the library was because Daniel Bruhl plays one of the lead roles.  (He is the German soldier in the middle).

This film is set in France, at the beginning of WWI in 1914. It is told from three points of view, in a unique and non-partial way. The film is recorded in three languages, French, German and English with subtitles for the French and the German. It depicts the lives of the French, the German and the Scottish soldiers stationed about an hour outside of Lens. It portrayed the human qualities of each nationality, their feelings and relationships and fears in a very real way. It made each side appear like-able and for once was not severely biased for or against any one particular side. The average soldier was only sent out to do his duty and most did not even want to fight.

The film is centered around the Christmas truce of 1914. On Christmas Eve of 1914, the some of the soldiers decided that the war would not be won if they held a truce on one day of the year. In this particular depiction, the truce was held between the Germans, and the two allied forces France and Scotland. If you have ever read anything about the Christmas truce of 1914, then this film is for you. Even if you have never heard of the Christmas truce, you will thoroughly appreciate this film for its simple yet profound message. It shows the inherent dignity that every human possesses and that regardless of race, nationality or religion, every man has fears, hopes and dreams. Men in each camp the men longed to see their sweethearts back home, hold their newborn child, see their mothers, protect their brothers or friends from harm and to play a good old game of soccer with their buddies. 

This film sheds light into the terrible truths surrounding the real men on the front lines. It is highly entertaining with beautiful performances from Diane Kruger and Benno Furmann (another two great German actors). Gary Lewis plays a Scottish priest, working as a stretcher bearer, even says midnight Mass for the men in no man's land. Guillaume Canet, a French heartthrob and top-actor, plays the French lieutenant. 

As a note for families, there is only one "bed" scene which shows partial nudity and intimate kissing. The film is rated PG, but use caution because of this scene. I would definitely recommend this film for older teens and young adults. I can't remember hearing any crude language (or reading any), and the scenes of war were less brutal than in many other action films. They show dead and wounded men and actually artillery fires. I just suggest that you use your own judgement on this one.

So, in case you are looking for a good Christmas movie to enjoy this season, I highly recommend Joyeux Noel. You will have to sit up and possibly put on those dusty glasses (as in my hubby's case) in order to follow along, unless you can speak fluent French and German. 

God Bless friends and happy third week of Advent.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Different Kind of Advent


The Advent Calendar is more than half eaten up and the days to Christmas draw nearer. This advent has been very different from other years. Other years, we had school plans for all of the Feast Days, cookies pre-baked and in the freezer, the house all cleaned and by now had already been to Heritage Park to see Father Christmas. Not this year! 

This advent has seen a number of the kids with the stomach bug, two trips to the hospital, endless days of lounging around hoping that everyone will feel better soon. The only main stay has been the Jesse Tree and the St. Andrew Novena. We managed to be well enough to make it to Mass to buy candles for our advent wreath. That's something, isn't it. 

I have been reading my facebook feed to see all of the wonderful activities that others have been doing. St. Nicholas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia went by so quickly. There was chocolate on St. Nicholas, a letter from our sponsored child from Bolivia on the Feast of Our Lady and my daughter made breakfast on the feast of Santa Lucia, but that was it. No coloring pages, no special dinners, no feast day activities, nothing. I am such a terrible example of a good Catholic mom. 

I always wonder how some moms manage to do it all and have time to blog about it. During this season of life, I am lucky to get up in the morning and make it more or less unscathed through the day. I know this too, shall pass.

I still have time to get to confessions, pray more, reflect more and prepare my heart and home for the coming of Our Lord. It won't matter if the house is spotless, or if all of the kids' quilts get finished (they probably won't), tons of cookies get baked, Christmas cards are sent out, as long as my heart is prepared. Please join me in preparing for Christmas. Keep us in your prayers as we pray for you, our readers, our friends, our family.

God Bless Friends.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Loreto Gift Shop ~ Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win one of my creations in a giveaway hosted by Mandi of Messy Wife, Blessed Life

You could win a five decade Catholic Rosary / Divine Mercy Chaplet. It is made with beautiful capri blue fire polished Czech Ave beads and crystal luster fire polished Czech Pater beads. The centre is an image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription on the reverse, "Jesus, I trust in you." The crucifix is the Dolorosa crucifix depiction our crucified Lord with His heavenly mother catching drops of blood in a chalice. This is my personal favorite crucifix. It is the one that I have on my rosary.

All you have to do to win is follow this link: Messy Wife, Blessed Life and follow the instructions. The giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the U.S. and is open until December 7th. Good luck to everyone.

In case you haven't heard (or aren't a Facebook Friend or Follower), I am having a Saint Nicholas Sale in the Loreto Gift Shop. Use the code: HAPPYSTNICK2013 to get 15% off of your order until December 7th. All the blessings for a holy Advent seasons from our family to yours. God Bless.

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