Monday, November 29, 2010

Santa Lucia Paper Dolls

For any of you who will be celebrating Santa Lucia on December 13th, here is a link to some paper dolls I found online.  A great gift idea for all the little girls in your family!

For ideas of how to celebrate St. Lucy, look here.  It is a very fun tradition that our family enjoys celebrating each Advent season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hail King Edmund

Now, although slacker Ma is on a delayed celebration schedule for Edmund's name-day (which was this past weekend), Grandma had all her ducks in a row and mailed this wonderful King dress-up outfit for the occasion.  Of course, Edmund couldn't wait to try it on.
The real celebration will occur Friday or Saturday this week.  We'll hang the St Edmund flag we bought in England.  We'll eat sticky buns in memory of his sticky end and have St. Edmund story time.  Afterwards, we'll decorate our own crowns to wear that day in honor of the Saint and King.   

What do you do to celebrate your children's name days?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nativity Fast preparation

Monday, November 15th marks the beginning of the Nativity Fast.  For a more in depth look at some activities and crafts to due during advent, look no further than here.  But, in brief, here are some activities to do with your children throughout the next 40 days to help prepare you hearts for the celebration of Christ's birth.

Remember that each week has a theme: faith, hope, peace, love, repentance and communion.  Light your candle for the week at the beginning of that week and continue lighting until Christmas and through the 12 days (or as long as they last)!  The theme ideas come from Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home by Anthony Coniaris. The activities to go with are of my own silly creation!  If you have any other ideas, please do let me know!
1. Make an advent wreath and paper chain, Eastern Orthodox style.
2. For Faith Week, beginning November 15th, sit down as a family and list gifts you'd like to give to the baby Jesus.  Then spend the rest of the Nativity Fast preparing these gifts (whether by making them or saving money for them).  Remember all these gifts, however silly, can be given to people in need.  To give unto someone in need is to give unto Christ.
3.  The Entrance of the Theotokos falls on Sunday, November 21st this year. Check out this activity from our archives.
4. For the second week of the fast (beginning Nov. 21st), make some anchor ornaments to hang around your house.  Anchors are a traditional Christian symbol of hope.  Print out this picture as a template, and cut out card stock or construction paper and let the kids decorate them.  Then hang them around the house or tape them on your windows.
5. For week 3, December 5th, decorate a tree outside!
6.  December 5th, the beginning of Week 4.  Make doves to hang for this  Week of Peace.
7. Monday, December 6th, is St Nicholas day!!!  Don't forget to read stories of St Nick to your kids and fill their shoes with goodies.
8.Week 5, beginning December 12th and the Sunday of our Forefathers.  For this week of repentance, make your candy cane craft and/or join our style of celebrating our Forefathers.  This is when we get our Christmas tree!
9.  Lucy Light!!! Monday, December 13th.  This is a Xmas staple in our family.  Pa's family did it because they are of scandinavian origin, we do it for that reason and because we have a little Lucy of our own.  Even if you don't have a little Lucy, this is a very fun day if you have any girls in your family.   Read more about how you can celebrate this day here.
10. We light the candle for the last week of Christmas on December 19th.  Make gingerbread houses and  talk about how through the sacrament of communion, Christ lives in us.
11.  December 25th!  Christmas Day!  Light your final candle and feast with joy on the day of Christ's birth!