In our attempt to keep Christ in Christmas, we have implemented several strategies that help us tone down the frenzy by spreading out the celebration and gift giving throughout the season. Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Below you will find a post I wrote for a series entitled:
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. I am not always on top of celebrating Saint's feast days during the rest of the year but I'm 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 take much of the focus off gifts on Christmas.
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.
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. Hopefully we'll be able to do that one year. This year we will be at a Nutcracker performance and I won't be able to make Mexican food, but I'm sure we'll celebrate this wonderful feast in other ways.
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 think I recall Karate Kid helping her younger sisters do this one year, but none of us really likes to get up that early. Instead, this is the night we have breakfast for dinner to celebrate Saint Lucy. Nothing is better than pancakes, sausage, bacon and orange juice for dinner.
Does your family have favorite Advent Saints? What traditions do you use to celebrate? We are always looking for more ways to celebrate the Saints in our home.