Thursday, December 3, 2009

Name Day Celebrations

Nameday celebrations are quite fun for us. We try to make them unique to keep it distinctive from a birthday celebration. We also view them (as my husband likes to call it) as 'hobbit' parties in that the idea is to 'give' rather than 'recieve'. To encourage you to creatively come up with ideas for your own family, please read my ideas for our family's saints and our godchildren. If there are any saints you would like me to post about, please just ask!

Sunday of our Forefathers, Jesse and King David (Whatever Sunday falls between December 11-17 of each year. Note that Kind David is also celebrated on December 30th)

On this Sunday we celebrate my husband and godson's nameday. For our own family, this is the day we get our Christmas tree. We then pray a special blessing of the tree and sprinkle the tree with holy water. We then decorate the tree and enjoy fast appropriate treats for the celebration. In the past, I've bought tiny Christmas trees at Trader Joe's to give as gifts to our guests.

St Lucy (December 13)

I have blogged about this before. Look here for how we celebrate this at home! For a gift, we give our guests white candles wrapped in red ribbons.

St Mary of Bethany (June 4th)

It is Mary of Bethany who anoints Christ's feet with ointment and wiped them with her hair. We do not require our daughter to do anything of this kind! However, within that theme, we have Mary give a special 'ointment' to our guests (lotion or a perfume of sort). I do struggle with this one a bit (maybe you can help). Ideas are to 'act out' the story either in costume or with homemade puppets.

St Catherine of Alexandria (November 25)

For this feast day, there are lots of fun food themes. I like the ideas at Catholic Cuisine, which include eating pasta (using the special wheel pasta you can find at the store) and making heart shape cakes (an old french custom on St Catherine's Day. Read the above link for more info). For a fun activity, bake St Catherine's Wigs together or have a cake decorating contest. For a gift for your guests, send home a small lace doily or something else of that sort, as St Catherine is the patron of lacemakers and spinners. Her anniversary is still celebrated as the lacemakers feast in England!!!

St Edmund (November 20)

When we were in England last year, we had a grand time celebrating our son's name day. We visited Bury St Edmunds where this great saint was martyed and enjoyed pints of St Edmund's Ale. The kids and I painted our very own St Edmund flags on construction paper and hung it in our living room. While there, we had the foresight to buy our very own St Edmund's flag from Bury St Edmund's and hang it on his feast day. We unfortunately can't buy St Edmund's Ale here in the US. However, we can still honor his British (or, really, Anglo Saxon) heritage with a fish and chip supper. In England, there' s a silly custom (I think new though they claim it is old) of handing out sticky buns in remembrance of his 'sticky' end. Quite the breakfast story, no? A fun activity for the little ones would be to 'crown' the king. Decorate crowns and read the story of his martyrdom together. For gifts, make bookmarks with a Psalm on it (St Edmund was known for having memorized the Psalms). Simply type a Psalm in columns on your word processor and print unto cardstock. Cut it into bookmarks and give to your guests.


2 comments:

Stephanie S said...

I think of service when I think of the story of Mary. I wonder if there's a way for you to incorporate giving something that smells nice to some one/some people on the "fringes": shut-ins, those in a nursing home, the homeless, something like that? I see that most of your other celebrations are aimed toward the family home, though, so I don't know how well this works...

sjm said...

Fantastic ideas! I'll have to really think about what to do for ours.