Straw in the Manger
~St. Nicholas Day - Dec. 6~
* Baking St. Nicholas cookies using our new cookie cutter!! It is in a package that came last week, which has a St. Nicholas sticker on the outside... Caroline thinks St. Nicholas sent us the box! We will give them to others in "secret" like St. Nicholas did.
* Special dinner meal: pork, either this or this, both of which we have had in the past
* make bumblebee cookies (he is the patron of bees and beekeepers)
* eat honey (in hot tea or in a recipe)
* make or decorate a Christ candle (he is also the patron of candlemakers - beeswax) to use in the center of our Advent wreath on Christmas
* have blueberry muffins for breakfast (blue being the color often associated with Mary)
* attend Mass (it is a holy day of obligation!)
* have a white dinner (chicken? cauliflower? pasta with alfredo sauce? lots of possibilities!) to symbolize Mary's purity, placing our Mary statue on the table as a centerpiece
* cover our white Christ candle with white tulle, symbolizing Mary's purity as the place where Jesus, the Light of the World (represented by the white candle) dwelled within her before his birth into the world on Christmas. Idea here.
Juan Diego's feast day falls on December 9, and Our Lady's on the 12th. Since they really go hand-in-hand, I like to combine them somewhere around these dates. We plan to, as time allows:
* make Mexican wedding cookies
* make Mexican hot chocolate
* have something Mexican for dinner (catching the drift here?), probably enchiladas
* make this Juan Diego paper doll
* read The Lady of Guadalupe
* make St. Lucy crowns
* make St. Lucy's bread... traditionally the oldest daughter wears the crown of candles and carries the warm breakfast rolls into everyone's bedrooms that morning, which might be fun for future years. We will have our bread either for breakfast (if I make it the night before), or for lunch with cheese and fruit like we did last year. Both crown and bread can be seen here from last year.
* possibly make this paper doll of St. Lucy
* take a drive to look at Christmas lights, in keeping with the "light" theme
I hope to start slowly with this... some people have made ornaments and activities to go along with these, but we will just pray them this year each evening, beginning on December 17 and going through December 23.
We have chosen two children from our church's Angel Tree... these are one and four year old girls for whom we will purchase some gifts since their families may not be able to afford much for Christmas. Caroline and I already picked out toy baby dolls for each of these girls, since that is something listed as a wanted item. We will shop for some clothes, pajamas, diapers, and a jacket for them once Advent has begun, and all gifts are due back at our church on December 11.
Gifts for family and friends... we have been making homemade gifts for the past several years, and that always involves baked goods. Since some of our home-baked treat recipients might read this, I won't share what we are making this year... but we have a few new treats to try out!
Well, this has gotten long... but it really helps me to gather all my plans in one place. I will do another post soon on Christmas plans, beginning with Christmas Eve!