This year we are going to add a new tradition to
our family for Advent. We will be praying the O Antiphons each evening
from Dec. 17th until Dec. 23rd. I want to thank Katherine at A Living Education for inspiring me to make this "O Antiphon"  house. I know this will  help us prepare better for Christmas. You can download daily activities to celebrate the "O Antiphons" here:

Download o_antiphons.doc




Here are other ways we celebrate the season of Advent. Just click on the link to see the pictures.

Gifts for Baby Jesus

O Antiphon Activities 

The Advent Wreath

The Nativity Scene

The Christ Candle

The Jesse Tree

You can find these and other ideas from Celebrating the Faith in the Home: Advent and Christmas for the Christian Family , by Teresa Zepeda
and Laurie Navar Gill.

Feast Days in Advent

St. Nicholas Dec. 6th

feast of St. Nicholas is on Dec. 6th. It is a highlight of the Advent
season. Each child puts out a shoe the night before St. Nicholas Day in
the hope that the kind bishop  with his miter, staff, and bag of gifts
will pay a visit. The current "Santa Claus" is modeled after St.
Nicholas, but commercialism has tarnished the true story. Many families
give gifts on both Dec. 6 and Christmas. Read about St. Nicholas in
your favorite saints book.

St. Nicholas Center

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception December 8th

this great feast, families place a candle with a blue ribbon before a
statue or picture of the Blessed Virgin, whose "yes" to God enabled our
Lord’s coming at Christmas. The candle is lit during meal times to
serve as a delightful reminder of Mary’s eager expectation of the
"Light of the World." It can also serve as a reminder to each family
member to keep their own light of grace burning as a preparation for
Christ’s coming.

St. Juan Diego, Dec. 9th

walked fifteen miles to attend Mass every day. Participate in Mass one
day this week that is not a Sunday Mass. If this is impossible, take a
long walk outside and notice the miracles of God’s love during that
walk. You may not see roses in the snow or hear music, but there is
plenty to praise God for!
Blessed Juan, you faced the skepticism and rejection of a bishop and
the crowds to bring Mary’s message to Mexico. Pray for us that when we
are faced with obstacles to our faith we may show that same courage and
commitment. Amen

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12th

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mystical Rose,
make intercession for holy Church,
protect the sovereign Pontiff,
help all those who invoke you in their necessities,
and since you are the ever Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
obtain for us from your most holy Son
the grace of keeping our faith,
of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life
of burning charity, and the precious gift
of final perseverance.

St. Lucy, Dec. 13th

feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, marks
the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Her life story can be
found in most saints books, as can the recipe for the traditional
cakes. The symbolism is rich and her life story worthwhile reading.

Sweden’s Custom

The eldest
  daughter of the household, wearing a white dress with a sash
  of crimson and a crown of branches set with lighted candles,
  wakes all the members of the household and serves them special
  cake and coffee. While it may not be practical to light a crown
  of candles, the family can enjoy this custom of a special treat
  prepared by the eldest daughter of the family (with help from
  mother, if necessary). As a substitute for the flaming crown,
  the coffee cake can be prepared in the shape of a crown and set
  with candles.

Prayer to Saint Lucy

  us, O God, our salvation, that, as we rejoice in keeping the
  festival of Blessed Lucy, thy virgin and martyr, so we may profit
  by the tender devotion we gain through her example. Through our
  Lord. Amen.