Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Feast of St. Nicholas
We are all trying hard not to get sucked into the commercialism of Christmas that has been surrounding us since August, but it bears mentioning that Advent is just around the corner and we as mothers have a unique opportunity to establish special family traditions that orient ourselves and our children towards the cradle on Christmas Day.
It is not too early to start planning a few ways to make the meaning of the season come alive for your little ones. We love St. Nicholas in the Incredible household and we have celebrated his feast for several years. He is the patron saint of children, among many other things. We will be out of town this year for the Feast of St. Nicholas (on Saturday, December 6th), so I have been planning how to keep our traditions going away from home. We enjoy teaching our children about the real Santa Claus and encouraging them to demonstrate brotherly love.
If you want to order cookie cutters or prayer cards, now is the time! The St. Nicholas Center is a veritable treasure trove of information, stories, games, coloring pages, supplies, and ideas for all ages. Take a few minutes to click around and pick an activity that you think will connect with your children.
As with most things in the Incredible house, food is a very important part of celebrating. There are great recipes for traditional spiced gingerbread cookies and ideas for decorating them. Even if you can't afford the neat cookie cutters, you can use a knife and a little icing to turn them into St. Nicholas.
Another great source of ideas are the archives at O Night Divine. Here are book suggestions, and here are other ideas for celebrating his feast day.
With MaryAlice's encouragement to get ready and think ahead to make this time of year less stressful, take a few minutes to put some St. Nicholas and Advent books on hold at your library and make sure you have the ingredients for gingerbread in your pantry as we begin to prepare for this special time of year!