Catholic mom Sarah Reinhard writes, “The world in mid-November is gray and dull, sometimes smattered with snow and sometimes with piles of leaves. There’s a nip in the air, both inside and out, and the days are short enough that it’s sometimes a struggle to get out of bed. I usually face this time of year with a certain rebellious denial. It happens, every single year, and there’s never a surprise. Thanksgiving comes, just as it always does, and Advent leads to Christmas, all the same. This year, I’d like to focus on the gratitude of the family feast and on the silence of the December journey through Advent.” Read Sarah’s plan online.
The last two weeks of Advent are laden with celebrations both traditional and popular, making it one of the most action-packed few weeks of the Church year. Online you’ll find seven traditional practices your family might want to try during the “heart” of Advent, or at least acknowledge in some small way. Don’t feel pressured to try them all—choose one or two, leaving some time for quiet prayer and anticipation. We’ve got some suggestions for that, too. You’ll find them online.
Can you have a drama-free Christmas? Ever since Cory Bussee’s mom and dad passed, family holidays have taken on a very weird flavor. He and his wife, and his siblings and their spouses and kids, all struggle with family identity now that the keepers of their shared history and traditions are gone. So, the family decided to host a “Drama-Free Christmas.” To pull it off, they made three, simple rules. Discover what they are online.
The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December twelfth, recalls the appearance in 1531 of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego, a native who had recently converted to Catholicism, at a place called Tepeyac in what is now Mexico City. Celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with food, prayer, a story, and videos about the miraculous image. Find everything online.
Most of us are familiar with European Advent customs such as the Advent wreath, the Jesse tree and Advent calendars. While these traditions are popular, they aren’t the only way Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This year, add a little international flavor to your Advent by circling the globe with these ’round the world customs. Visit us online to find a variety of customs!