How to Make Advent More Like Advent and Less Like Christmas
Celebrating Advent Saints
Some of our family's favorite Saints' feast days fall during Advent. We are not always on top of celebrating Saint's feast days during the rest of the year but we tend to be pretty good about it during Advent.
Our children hang their stockings the night before December 6th, in anticipation of a visit from Saint Nicholas who will leave trinkets and treats in their stockings if they've been good little children all year. Santa does not visit our house on Christmas Eve, but Saint Nicholas visits on his Feast day instead. Celebrating this feast has helped reduce the frenzied anticipation of gifts on Christmas morning.
Catholics take a break from the stress and press of the commercial Christmas season and head to Mass on this Holy Day of obligation. This is a beautiful Church feast celebrating the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Our family has a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We have a lovely "pilgrim" image given to us by our friends from our time in Oklahoma. This is another beautiful Marian feast. In the Southwest there are often elaborate celebrations with plays, Southwest American Indian costume and dance; all culminating in a special celebration of the Mass in honor of Our Lady. One website I came across suggested serving Mexican food in honor of this feast. I'm looking forward to preparing the food for this feast!
My family is of Scandinavian descent and my girls are fascinated with this feast day. They have all dreamed of getting up early, dressing in a white dress with red ribbons and a wreath candelabrum, while serving the rest of the family breakfast in bed. Somehow this plan falls flat with the getting up early part. I do recall Karate Kid helping her younger sisters do this one year, but none of us really likes to get up that early. I've been hearing little snippets of Saint Lucia plans here and there from the girls. If all else fails, we'll have breakfast for dinner on Saint Lucy's feast day. Nothing beats pancakes, bacon, and sausage for dinner!