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!


sara said...

Thank you, Ma!

Katie Jones said...

Yes, thanks! We are off to Michael's this morning.

Melinda said...

Thank you for all your ideas and sharing what your family does. I just discovered this blog and I can't wait to dive in!