Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent feast days: adding in some new traditions this year...

Hello all! Tomorrow is the feast of St. Nicholas, and so I thought I'd commandeer the opportunity to talk about some new things I'm doing this Advent. Related to this endeavor, I will soon be reviewing the first in a series of books about the liturgical year, which focuses on the Advent & Christmas seasons. That post will be up on Tuesday December 17th, so keep an eye out for it! There will also be a giveaway opportunity for the book in question! There are additional volumes that I will review as well, the second of which covers Epiphany and Lent. So excited!!

Ok anyway, I get all crazy when I talk about the liturgical year, because it's just one of my favorite topics. So where was I? Right! The feast of St. Nicholas. It's tomorrow, and this year we will be celebrating it with the kids.

St. Nicholas, of course, is where our Santa Claus tradition originally comes from, and as I emphasized to Henry when we broke the news last year that Santa Claus isn't real, St. Nicholas very much *was* a real person, a bishop. Known for his generosity, the other major story attached to him is in regards to him dropping off 3 bags of gold coins at the home of a man who was contemplating *selling off his 3 daughters* to make do. Good gracious.

We're going to have the kids leave their shoes out by the fireplace, and I bought little bags of chocolate gold coins to place in them. Henry and I will also read St. Nicholas's story in his saint book.

This is a great book, by the way. The stories are written for children' Henry's age (intermediate readers, age 8), and have lots of details that will capture their attention. I bought him the first volume, which begins with the January feasts, through June, to put in his stocking.

Ok, back to St. Nick. I'm also going to put out a small book for each child, as a gift. Yesterday, at Catholic All Year, Kendra drew my attention to a few Advent books for children, one of which concerns St. Nicholas:

Although it won't arrive in time for the feast day, I currently have this in my Amazon shopping cart. This Prime shipping speed is turning me into a salivating book hoarder. It will come by Monday, and I will enjoy reading it with Anne leading up to Christmas. I may have also added a wood St. Nicholas doll to my shopping cart. I'm admitting nothing.

Next Friday, December 13th, is the feast of St. Lucy, who is a favorite of Hank's. I think it's the plate of eyes that she's carrying in her hand. :0

While I was adding the St. Nicholas book to my cart (*innocent look*) Amazon "recommended" to me the following:

Even though Hank already reads chapter books, and this seems targeted to kids a few years younger than him, I actually think he will love this book. The reviews noted that it's for school aged kids, definitely too difficult for toddlers and preschoolers to understand, and when I mentioned a St. Lucy book to Hank last night, he gasped in joy. He loves her. This is also in my cart. *shifty look*
The tradition on the feast of St. Lucy, in Hank's words (since we have read her story in his various saint books at least a dozen times):
"So, the youngest daughter, that's Anne, right? She should wake us up on that day wearing a crown of lit candles. Carrying coffee and special sweet rolls."
Yeeeaahhhhh. So, we're not going to be following the St. Lucy tradition to the letter. Or, at least until we can trust Anne not to start a fire. But I'd like to look into baking some special rolls for that morning. 

Oh. And while I was shopping, Amazon had to go and recommend this:

I mean, do they have no shame? I see that the book is about a little Mexican girl's devotion to the Christ Child, and references Our Lady of Guadalupe, feast day of December 12th!!!! 
Right, it's in my cart. I'm planning to checkout before I leave work. :0
I'm very excited about what we have planned from now until Christmas. We have done family Advent activities for many years, but this year I am really feeling the *Advent* message, rather than focusing on Christmas long before that actual celebration. And I've been very annoying about telling other people about Advent too, and how fabulous it is, and how they should get in on a piece of the action.
It's Advent fever I'm telling you! :)


  1. I've got Advent fever too. Tonight we're making cookies. Tomorrow the boys will find some Christmas books and chocolate coins in their stockings and candy canes (bishop's staff thingy reference) on the Jesse tree. Than HB and I will make a candy cane craft and possibly a stocking craft while his brother naps.

    I think we need to start a support group. ;)

    1. love love love!! I may steal that candy cane idea. And you'll likely have snow for Advent/Christmas this year. :0

    2. Go for it. I know I've talked about the candy cane craft but I can't seem to find an actual picture of one that I've made. So here's google to my rescue.

      You use pipe cleaner and tri-beads that you can find at Michaels (or any craft store). They are great for fine motor practice because the pipe cleaner is stiff and easy to put the beads on. Wouldn't recommend them if Anne still puts things in her mouth. But Hank might like it since he can come up with all sorts of color patterns (math).

      Just crimp an end and have them push them on. Then crimp the other end. And then bend into shape. Hangs fine that way on the tree. I like to cut the pipe cleaner in half. Looks better that way. My mom taught me this craft when I was a kid.


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