Sunday, December 27, 2009

Second Day of Christmas

We spent today at home and enjoyed a visit from my husband's grandparents, uncle (and the boys' Godfather), and his fiancee. We haven't seen Uncle D and Aunt L in two years since they live in Hawaii! It was a lovely visit and so nice to catch up!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Candle

We decorated our Christmas Candle yesterday. We kept it simple this year and went with holly and stars.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Flash Mob

At the mall in our area last night.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Antiphon House

Today marks the beginning of the O Antiphons, prayers said during the Octave before Christmas.

From the Catholic Education Resource Center: "The importance of “O Antiphons” is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah."

The really cool thing about the Anitphons is that when the initial for each is read backward they form an acrostic for the Latin "Ero Cras" which means "Tomorrow I come."

This is our first year adding the O Antiphons to our Advent traditions and I borrowed an idea to create an O Antiphon House:

Each block has a symbol representing the title...

As well as the Latin translation and the date the Antiphon is said:

Because of my limited talent with such artsy things, I printed everything then hand colored the symbols and used Mod Podge to attach everything to the blocks. I also added the text for each Antiphon in the various "rooms" of the house. Each day we'll pray the Antiphon then add the block.

I don't love how it turned out. With more time, I would change a few things. Next year I think I'll re-letter "Ero Cras" and stars at the top. I also need to decide if I want to add anything to the spaces where the blocks rest until needed. I've seen houses with images of the Nativity or stars. I might try and hand draw and letter the blocks too, but we'll see.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Midway Through Advent

Advent Spiral...

Jesse Tree...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

St. Nicholas Day

We had a lovely St. Nicholas Day last week!

We watched the snow...

Tried to take our Christmas picture...

Opened our stockings to find (along with the always popular chocolate coins) a new doll friend...

A pair of binoculars and a balance rocker for active play on cold days...

We enjoyed the St. Nicholas Day punch, baked cookies-- and ate more than our fair share! It was a wonderful feast day in the midst of this season of preparation.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Preparing for St. Nicholas Day

December 6 we celebrate St. Nicholas Day in our home. It is a fun day in the midst of prayer, penance, and preparation for the Nativity. The past several years we've hosted family and friends for a small party featuring traditional St. Nicholas treats from around the world, crafts, "gold" coins in shoes or stockings in a wonderful afternoon of visiting.

Big Brother is old enough this year to remember a little bit about previous years' celebrations and also to understand the story of St. Nicholas a little better. He has been very excited to read our St. Nicholas books this year and cannot wait for Sunday as he knows his stocking (according to Czech tradition) will be filled with a treat or two-- especially those chocolate coins!

Our book choices were gathered from Catholic Mosaic and the St. Nicholas Center.
We also typically make a few treats: St. Nicholas cookies and a variation on St. Nicholas Day Punch (last recipe in the list) were favorites last year.

Last year we made several St. Nicholas crafts. Last year we made this mobile and this Czech St. Nicholas window decoration. This year we're doing some coloring, puzzles, and learning this echo story.

Also check out Seasons of Joy for St. Nicholas circle time ideas and some links to St. Nicholas songs!

I'll be sure to post pictures of this year's feast!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Suzy Snowflake

It's here!