Updated: Dec 10, 2019
How is your second week of Advent going? Surviving? Thriving? Ours is going great, and I can't wait to tell you about it. If you haven't yet, first check out my Advent plan here and my first self-report-card here about how it's going. This post will be my second "report card". Here we go!
A Look Back
We celebrated St. Barbara's day by bringing in our cherry twigs. You can read more about this here, as I dedicated an entire post to it.
We celebrated a joyful (yet penitential) St. Nicholas day! Since it was a day of abstinence and the day of fasting and penance called for by the exorcists, it was a bit challenging to find the balance between that and really celebrating the day (anyone else feel that way?), but I think we made it work. Everyone got something in their stocking that morning, we honored an icon of St. Nicholas all day, and then went to Church to fulfill our First Friday duties and the exorcism requests. It was a really beautiful day (although next year, I'm hoping to have a cake or something!).
We celebrated the Immaculate Conception with a white cake and singing a Salve Regina before cutting it. It was kind of like a birthday party for Our Lady, which I guess is fitting! We also read some from The Church's Year by Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine, which I highly recommend if you don't have it. He has some really great readings for Sundays, Holy Days, and Saint Days, including the Scripture readings from the Mass. He presents things in question form, so it's a great format for families. You learn history, catechism, Scripture—a little bit of everything by just spending a few extra minutes at the dinner table reading as a family. You can find a copy here.
Confession time regarding the general Advent plans: I had said that I wanted to do one extra piece of cleaning or baking or something each day during Advent as a sort of penance. Well, that is going horribly. In fact, I have had so much to do that my house is actually much dirtier than normal! Part of the reason is I am making everyone's Christmas gifts myself for the most part (hey—would anyone be interested in a post on homemade Christmas gift ideas?), and they are all religious in nature, so I'm offering it up and getting done what I can. I don't think I anticipated just how busy Advent season was. I am still able to do the personal mortification I chose (non-food related as I'm a nursing momma), and our family is able to do our "family penance", but man, I have not found any time to maintain equilibrium, much less add a chore!
A Look Forward
My next week is crazy, and I don't anticipate getting another Advent post out until after it. So, let's look at what we've got on the slate for the next two weeks.
December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tacos and margaritas!
December 13: Feast of St Lucy
Put up the Christmas lights! We actually won't be doing this until a few days after, since we will be out of town on the actual day (ugh!), but I can't wait to throw lights on anything that will stand still! (Lucky for the barn cats I can't catch them.) We have a whole pack of the small LED battery operated ones. They are so inexpensive, so you really can light anything, especially your religious statues and Nativity sets. Let me know if you need a link in the comments.
December 14: Gaudete Sunday
We will attempt to get everyone in at least one pink thing (attempt is the key word). This is a good day to add an extra dessert or something special. We haven't decided what we will do yet, so please give us your ideas in the comments!
December 17—23: The Golden Nights
O Antiphons begin! This means we are close!
December 18, 20, & 21: Advent Embertide
We will be honoring the traditional ember fasts, and doing them especially for pregnant women, those hoping to conceive, and for priestly vocations. Please consider joining us!
We have a beautiful, busy few weeks ahead, ladies and gentleman! Whoever said that waiting to celebrate Christmas until Christmas would be boring?! If you have a family tradition not mentioned here, please share in the comments! Let's keep learning from each other how to have a traditional Catholic Advent in our homes. Pax Christi, dear readers!