We celebrate Christmas during Advent when the situation arises, but we MAJORLY celebrate Christmas during liturgical Christmas. I want my kids to grow up knowing that Christmas is at least 12 days long. So here is the best list I have as a mom of five beautiful gifts of children.
Make the 12 Days of Christmas Special! (because Macy's sure doesn't)
I try to plan something every day.
I try to plan a date night with my hubby at least night (I used to do twice... before five kids) during the actual days of Christmas...
I can dream... we don't always get it.
Types of dates that I plan for my husband and I after the kids go to bed during those 12 days -
1 fave restaurant night out with a sitter,
1 movie in (like Muppets Christmas Carol),
1 game we used to play when we dated (like radio-controlled soccer bots),
1 story that we enjoy reading (like Goodnight Moon),
1 craft for the kids (like making paper snowflakes and hanging them on the ceiling to surprise them when they wake up),
1 read a Pope Sunday homily and talk about it...
...you can figure out 5 more
One of my friends gives her son a new-to-him Christmas-themed wrapped book every day of Christmas. Thrift stores have GREAT deals on books that are new to you.
Dec 25 - Birthday Cake for Jesus and ::gasp!:: We go to Mass at 9am (BIG SECRET!)
(skips ALL the crowds opening presents at this time... all guaranteed a seat)
We then sing Jesus Happy Birthday and eat birthday cake for breakfast while opening presents. No, I kid you not, we do! We put the white candle in the center of our advent wreath and that for us = the Christmas wreath... yah, I simplified it.
See if you all can together come up with a list of titles of Jesus.
Now... Continue to Celebrate the Liturgical Season of Christmas!
Dec 26 - Feast of St. Stephen
it has a preschool version of St. Wenceslaus :)
Dec 27 - St. John the Evangelist
Wine! St. John's wine recipe...
His symbols are SO COOL, you could just have kids draw the different symbols!
Dec 28 - 4th Day of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Innocents
This one is honestly hard for me. Hard for a lot of moms. Discern whether to talk about it, or whether to just ask the Holy Innocents in Heaven to pray for each of our children.
Have your youngest child pick the activity. Teehee. I know, I know, chaos! We're Catholic after all.
I do have my kids pray for all the babies in mommies' bellies all over the world. I leave it at that. Some of my fellow moms speak very openly of the children they have lost. Discern as such.
Dec 29 - Feast of St. Thomas A Becket
Movie night for adults. Watch the old Richard Burton film!
Read a Canterbury Tale - pick one. (I've been warned they're sometimes seedy... the journey of life is not about only us getting ourselves to Heaven, but also bringing to Heaven our family and everyone we meet along the journey, no matter how close or far from Our Lord they may be)
Dec 30 - Feast of the Holy Family
Family, family, family! Do a family date.
Dec 31 - St. Sylvester I
Gumdrop on a String is under activities for this day. Meh. Lemme know if you come up with something for this day.
Jan 1 - Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
GO TO CHURCH! :) Holy Day of Obligation
Day to honor women in the house
Day to ask the Lord how He wants your family to grow in holiness this year
(sadly, most people have taken down all Christmas stuff... People! We are just gettin' started!)
Jan 2 - St. Basil and St. Gregory (not the dragonslayer)
Greek traditions on this day.
Teach your toddler to say Constantinople
Jan 3 - Holy Name of Jesus
Topics can include Guardian Angel, how/why your child was named, keeping God's name holy, etc.
Jan 4 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
A fave holy day of mine as this is the Feast of the foundress of the American Sisters of Charity and a friend of mine is a Sister of Charity. Yes, I'm openly biased.
Jan 5 - 12th Night?/St. John Neumann
Pray for vocations for your children.
Talk about vocations with your children.
My fave Shakespeare play is 12th Night. So we read a few lines, or watch one of the films or plays.
NOTE: 12th Night sometimes varies as Epiphany would naturally take the place of 12th Night if they fall on the same day.
Jan 6 - 2019, this is Epiphany Sunday/St. Andre Bessette "doorkeeper" or Epiphany or Twelfth Night
Have everyone careful to open doors for each other and talk about what opening a door for someone symbolizes (for St. Andre Bessette, it's not an outdated gesture of etiquette)... or opening the door of our hearts, or the importance of doing humble, boring, seemingly insignificant things for Jesus with our whole hearts with no earthly reward.
We have an Epiphany party if we can.
Jan 7 - St. Raymond of Peñafort
This is a SUPER cool saint, and we have a beautifully designed church in our diocese in Springfield named after him. Check it out if you can.
COOL Fact you can play with for celebrating this day: St. Raymond worked many miracles; among which is that most celebrated one of his having, when returning to Barcelona from the island of Majorca, spread his cloak upon the sea, and sailed upon it, in the space of six hours, the distance of a hundred and sixty miles, and having reached his convent, entered it through the closed doors.
Jan 8 - Epiphany... (sort of) or Celebrate the Magi)
ok, the Sunday betw/ Jan 2 and Jan 8.
Anyways, Epiphany should be a big deal whenever Jan 2-8 you celebrate.
There are several amazing pieces to the story of the Three Kings.
For one - they were astronomers and astrologers.
They spoke Pahlavi, believed to be one of the most ancient languages, and an origin of many languages.
(I know this b/c one of my friends is a Pahlavi world expert.)
Make, Decorate, and Wear Crowns,
Put the Kings in the Manger
Jan 9 - Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord
Shells and water and baptism stories and name stories.
Or after Jan 6, the 12th day of Christmas, put away Christmas stuff... unless of course you go hard core through Candlemas.
Jan 10 - Ordinary time. Show's over, people, pack it up. Christmas is liturgically done, but keep the Christmas tree up til Candlemas if you like.
I know, I make a big deal about how you could extend Christmas until Candlemas.
I never have, but our pastor LOVES talking about it, and maybe one year we will. :)