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
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.)
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.
December 9th – Feast of St. Juan Diego
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
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!
Prayer of Mothers
Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.