Don’t you hate it when a great saint’s day sneaks up on you? I do. I wish I was that girl who had her life together enough to plan ahead for favorite saints’ days. But I am not that girl. Apparently I give the illusion that I am…but sadly, I am a wannabe organized mom.
However, I have been doing Advent for long enough that I can remember there are some pretty awesome feasts in December. In efforts to be slightly prepared, I am sharing my plans with you. Hopefully it will help us all celebrate at least one of these saints during Advent!
Saint Andrew, Nov. 30: OK, he is a November saint, but since his feast day on November 30 falls during Advent, he is a great Advent saint. Did you know Saint Andrew is known as the first disciple of Christ? He was first to leave everything and follow Jesus. Later, his brother Simon did, also. It seems fitting, then, to pray the Saint Andrew novena during Advent, because his belief and trust led him to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. His prayers joined with ours in the novena will hopefully help us open our hearts and minds even more to the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation, and inspire us to truly know Jesus as the Messiah. This year, I will teach my children about St. Andrew, and share the novena prayer with them. If I can remember (because let’s face it, it’s the holiday season) I will add reciting the prayer 1 time to our morning routine. Personally, I am going to pray the full novena in my quiet time each day.
Saint Nicholas, Dec. 6: Who doesn’t love jolly ol’ St. Nick? I love this feast day! It is a fun way to gently tell the story of the true Santa, as well as remind our family to be generous and thoughtful for others. I read from a few picture books leading up to his feast day, to prepare my kids’ hearts and minds for celebrating. In past years, I have had someone sneak out to ring the doorbell and reveal surprise treats from the mystery visitor, but typically we leave shoes out and in the morning find them filled with treats, clementines, a St. Nicholas figure, and some sort of spiritual aid–a new book, a movie, etc. So many great ideas can be found at the Saint Nicholas Center.
Saint Juan Diego, Dec.9: Such a new feast! He was canonized in 2002 (so…I guess not so new?). We read about his faith journey and the miracle of roses and Mary appearing on his tilma. This year we’ll also watch the animated video about him, “Juan Diego, Messenger of Guadalupe.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12: Isn’t she a lovely image of Our Blessed Mother? I mean, the physical image is incredible, but the loving Mother who spoke so gently and encouragingly to Juan Diego, the strong and kind Queen of Heaven who wouldn’t give up until a chapel was built… honoring Our Lady as Our Lady of Guadalupe is just one more way to know and love Mary. Dianna has ideas for celebrating her and Juan Diego in this post. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, so today is a great day to pray for our nation and the leaders of our country as well as Canada, Mexico, Central, and South America. We’ll be decorating with roses (I hope!) and eating some delicious Mexican food to celebrate.
Saint Lucy, Dec. 13: This feast is slowly taking hold in our home, thanks to my oldest daughter. She loves getting up early this day to dress the part, light candles, and bring a breakfast tray to us. This year, I want to make a reusable crown, and help her grow in service by reminding her that any small act done with great love is what makes us into saints. There is another tradition associated with Saint Lucy’s feast day, of planting “Christmas wheat” and watching it grow. They say it will be green and several inches high by Christmas! You can find some wheatgrass seeds on Amazon.
Looking for more? I always love the ideas and recipes shared at Catholic Cuisine.
Linking up for 5 Favorites with Jenna! This week she has tips for styling your moccasins!
p.s. apologies, AGAIN, for this posting before it was done. I need to work on my scheduling and editing when I’m using my phone. I started this post on my phone while nursing the toddler to sleep…so forgive me?