Friday, November 30, 2007

On the Calendar

There are just so many wonderful feast days coming up for us to celebrate during Advent. It is going to be such a fun month as we joyfully prepare for, and then celebrate, the birth of Christ!

In addition to our Jesse Tree, Advent Wreath, Advent Calendar and other Christmas preparations, I have been working on our plans for a few of the various feast days leading up to Christmas.

Looking at the list, I'm not sure we will get to all of them, but it will sure help having them all planned out!


December 2 - First Sunday of Advent

Today we will start our Jesse Tree, Advent Calendar and Bless our Advent Wreath. We will also set out the manger and animals of our Nativity sets. (Each Sunday of Advent, as we get closer to Christmas, we will added more to the scene). Since it is also "Stir-up" Sunday, we will make a fruitcake and possibly a plum pudding. One of the local churches that we attend will also be having a St. Nicholas Dinner as well, that we are planning to attend! It is also the beginning of the NEW Liturgical Year! So, we will prepare our Liturgical Notebooks to fill with art and copy work for this new year! Happy New Year! :)


December 3 - Feast of St. Francis Xavier

In the morning, we will pray the Litany of St. Francis Xavier and then read page 20 of More Saints Lives and Illuminations. In the afternoon, I will let the kids watch Francis Xavier and the Samurai's Lost Treasure by CCC (we just love all the CCC videos!) And for dinner I think I will try and make this recipe for Xaver Suppe. (You can check out even more ideas here.)


December 4 - Feast of St. Barbara

I found another couple recipes for this feast day that I think we will try this year. We will make Barbarakuchen (St. Barabara Cake) and Schweinelendchen Barbara (Pork Tenderloin St. Barbara) from pages 34-35 of Cooking with the Saints. They both look quite yummy. We will also read pages 16-21 of Once upon a time Saints and this Story of St. Barbara for Children.


December 6th - Feast of St. Nicholas

This is one of my favorite feast days!

We have a number of books about St. Nicholas that we will be reading the whole week prior to the feast of St. Nicholas. Our favorites is The Legend of St. Nicholas by Demi. We also really like The Miracle of St. Nicholas by Gloria Whelan.

Our family has the tradition of giving our kids new slippers filled with a bag of gold coins and a note from St. Nicholas. The note is usually on the back of a holy card... It lists the good deeds they have done, as well as anything they need to work on before Christmas. (We have not needed to do this, but could place a note from Black Peter with a lump of coal, if the child has not been good.)

For breakfast I am planning on making St. Nicholas Hot Cocoa and a Candy Cane Coffee Cake. Sometime during the day we will watch Nicholas: The Boy who became Santa by CCC and read page 17 of Saints Lives and Illuminations.

I also love Love LOVE this website which is dedicated to St. Nicholas. In fact my screensaver is actually a St. Nicholas day countdown that I downloaded from this site! :) It has so many fun things to do including many great coloring pages! I'll probably print a few off and let the kids color them while we listen to this wonderful CD by Anonymous 4.


December 7th - Feast of St. Ambrose

Since St. Ambrose is the Patron Saint of Candlemakers, we will decorate our Christ Candle today... We will just use a tall white pillar candle, and decorate it with these Candle Decorating Pens from Hearthsong--as long as they arrive on time! We will also read the story of St. Ambrose on pages 5-11 Once upon a Time Saints.


December 8th - Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today after Mass, we will drape a Blue Cloth, or tie a blue ribbon, around the Christ Candle we decorated yesterday, in honor of the Blessed Mother. On Christmas Eve the cloth comes off and reveals Christ. This candle then takes the place of the Advent Candles for the Christmas Season.

We will also read about and discuss the Immaculate Conception.

There are TONS of great ideas at this link... I love the idea of taking a virtual tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We were there once when Captain was a baby, and so I might pull out our own pictures as well!

The special treat for the day is gingerbread... It is baked on this day because it reminds us of the passage in the Book of Sirach, 24:20-21 that describes Mary smelling like spices:
I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and aromatical balm; I yielded a sweet odor like the best myrrh; and I perfumed my dwelling as store, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odor is as the purest balm.
So, I think we will bake this gingerbread cake that I've been totally craving looks delicious and put together our Gingerbread House for this special feast! I also will copy off the Marian Crossword Puzzle on page 55 of A Year With God.


December 9th - Feast of St. Juan Diego

We will read page 19 of More Saints Lives and Illuminations and Our Lady of Guadalupe by Father Lovasik. Then we will listen to Fresh Flowers in Winter: The story of Saint Juan Diego by Glory Stories while the kids color pictures out of Our Lady of Guadalupe Coloring Book by Mary Fabyan Windeatt.


December 10th - Feast of Our Lady of Loreto

I plan to pray the Litany of Loreto with the children. Oh! And here is an online crossword of the Marian Titles from the Litany of Loreto!


December 12th - Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

For this feast we will be attending Mass, and then a celebration afterwards, with our Homeschool Group. When we get home we will read The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola. Also, this craft looks like such fun, but I think it will probably have to wait till next year!!


Decmeber 13 - Feast of St. Lucy

Today we will make Santa Lucia's Bread for breakfast, or have round Donuts with lighted birthday candles inserted.(if I don't have a chance to make the bread!) We will also read about Saint Lucy and color the picture in Fenestrae Fidei. I so wish I could sew and make one of these!


December 14 - Feast of St. John of the Cross

Today we will read page 24 of More Saints Lives and Illuminations. Being Friday, it might be a good night to watch St. John of the Cross as well!


December 16th - Gaudete Sunday

I read in Catholic Traditions in the Home and Classroom:
"In Mexico, the houses are decorated and ready for guests by December 16th. From this night until Christmas, people will have parties and the traditional posadas. The posadas commemorate the journey of Mary & Joseph and their attempt to find lodging."

I thought this would be a great day to read The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaoula. Maybe I will even attempt to make my mother-in-laws flan for dessert... Although, it NEVER turns out as yummy as hers!

I hope this list will help you with your own plans, and that you all have a very blessed Advent!

4 comments:

  1. wow, it sounds like you will be busy! super fun
    r

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  2. How blessed your children are to have a mother who makes Advent so meaningful! Just perfect!

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  3. Thanks for such a comprehensive list. You really put a lot of work into this. I am sure we will glean some things to use for our Advent celebrations for it!

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  4. Thank you for the wonderful ideas for Advent. The feast days shall be lovely here with all the ideas that you have provided for our family.

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