Monday, December 13, 2010

Put Mass back in Christmas-Take 2

For those of you who don't know, the 12 days of Christmas actually starts the day after Christmas. This is to lead up to Epiphany (or Baptism of the Lord in Eastern Catholic, yes?) Epiphany is the celebration of the Wise Men. I'm mixing up holidays. I just realized Easter is 50 days and Lent is 40. Christmas runs until Epiphany. oops

Here are some ideas for how to celebrate the Christmas Season:
Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas Song by creating your own ornaments with your children.

December 26: Holy Family and also St. Stephen's Day
St. Stephen's Stone Soup (aka Jessica's stone soup)
2 T. oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 pressed cloves of garlic
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
10 cups water
1/3 cup broth powder (you can also substitute water and broth powder with either stock, broth, or bullion cubes)
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
salt and paper for taste
1 small non porous washed stone (optional)
Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onions, garlic, celery, and carries. Saute for 3 minutes or until garlic is light golden brown. Add water, broth powder, ptoatoes, seasonings, and stone. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from head discard the stone and serve. Optional: can add cup of diced cooked chicken. Served great with biscuits or refrigerator rolls.

Also great is to sing the popular carol "Good King Wenceslaus" which talks about the Feast of Stephen aka St. Stephen's Day.

Dec. 27 St. John
Good time to break out some holy water and sprinkle your house.

Dec. 28 Holy Innocents (children who were slaughtered by King Herod according to Bible when looking for Jesus)
coloring pages of children, create your own crib mosaic (picture of crib and have glue down bits of construction paper),

Dec. 29 St. Thomas Becket- English martyr

January 1- Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God and World Day of Prayer for Peace- there are a number of color pages on the internet, you can use water color paint instead of crayon as a medium, it's also a good day to bust out your rosary beads and pray a prayer for peace. Children can make their own rosary beads with colored beads, yarn, and knots.

January 2- The Epiphany of the Lord (don't know why it's early this year)- you can dip your chalk in Holy Water and write 20+C+M+B+11. There's also a blessing here that you can use. It's also National Migration Week so bust out some great kid costumes and brooms (pretend camels) and migrate to follow the star.

January 3- The Most Holy Name of Jesus- Have children learn a new name for Jesus like Rose of Sharon, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, etc. Look up the Bible verse it's in and see if they can color a picture related to the new name they've learned

January 4- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

January 5- St. John Neumann

January 6 St. Andre Bessette

January 7- St. Raymond of Penafort

January 9- Baptism of the Lord- great time to talk about baptism and get some holy water going in your house. It's also National Vocation Awareness Week so it's good time to talk about priests, nuns, sisters (did you know that all nuns are sisters but not all sisters are nuns?), brothers, monks, etc. See if you can turn into a lesson: maybe discuss what a cloister is, what a habit is, etc.

And then we'll be back in ordinary time.

January has a lot of great saints this month so you may want to talk about each one with your child or pick out a few that you want to emphasize.

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