Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Catholic 12 Days Of Christmas~(Day 5 & 6)

Day 5: (December 29)
Feast of St. Thomas Becket
Theme: The Nativity of the Lord

Reflect and Read the Nativity of the Lord, as a family, from the Gospels (Matthew 1 and 2 or Luke 1 and 2)  We will be following a long with the beautifully illustrated picture book, The Nativity.  The focus of our discussion will be the angels and shepherds.  The angels first proclaimed the Good News and the shepherds made haste, or rushed in from the hills, to see God's promise fulfilled with the birth of the Messiah.  
Discussion questions:  How can we be heralds of the Gospel?; Have we seen God's glory in our own lives?; In what ways can we rejoice with the angels: "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"~Psalm 96~  How can we move closer to the Lord, keeping the shepherds in mind: "The shepherds went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the Infant lying in the manger."~Luke 2:16~
Respond:  Make an angel craft AND a Gingerbread Manger.  We used this Usborne book as our guide for this hand print angel art.
Angel Baby in action...
I am not a "messy Mom" so I always have to relinquish my desire to keep things neat and clean.  This is a struggle for me and something I always have to work at!
The end results are usually worth it when hands and faces (and sometimes hair) are all cleaned up!
(Especially when art project turn out so cute:)

The older kids worked on this Gingerbread Manger with Dad:) Yep, I admit we bought the 'cheater' supplies so it was pretty effortless.  
The Claydough Nativity set can be found online here. By the way, mine came in a nice plastic encasement for storage and protection...That makes the price a little more bearable.  Plus, they sure are cute!
As I've mentioned before, Dad is pretty good at this stuff:)  He wanted to create a humble and simple manger, without any gumdrops on the roof.  You know what that means? More candies from the kit for the kids to eat right away:)
As you can see, they used Nutella for the frosting on the Gingerbread Manger....YUM.  "Somebody" got a fun sampling of the Nutella:)
We browned some coconut for the manger hay and this is the finished project, mostly edible! (Except for the claydough figures of course)

Pray:  Stations of the Manger that were created last year.
Today we also decorated our white Christ candle that we light each night during the Christmas season.  It was simple to add some Nativity stickers and glitter.  
Our parish bulletin had a nightly Christmas table blessing that I Mod Podged to the back of the candle for easy prayer access!

Just in case you are wondering if we are some "holy family", think again!  I always like to point out that we are not perfect by any means.  Striving for holiness is something we take to heart but we certainly have a long journey ahead with routine struggles:) For example, we no sooner get done with our pleasant angel discussion tonight and our 3 year old Angel Baby yells out from her bedroom: "MOM!  My jammie drawer is all jacked up!"  Well, it certainly wasn't a 'sweet as an angel' exclamation but I got a good chuckle anyway ...Hmmm, wonder where she heard that one?  Time for nightly Guardian Angel prayers! 

**Dad and 2 older boys are serving dinner at a local homeless shelter with our Parish Youth Group.  Praying this makes up for a few of our imperfections*wink*

Day 6: December 30th
Feast of the Holy Family

Reflect upon Jesus living a real human life with a Mother and Father chosen by God.  Discuss how our parents were chosen by God to raise and care for us.  How can we follow the example of Jesus as a child?  How can we follow the example of St. Mary and St. Joseph as parents?
Read the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians 3:12-21.  Discuss how we can treat eachother as St. Paul writes to the Colossians.
Respond: Do something together as a family today, even if it's just sitting down for a meal.  Today our Dad will be gone to work so the rest of us plan on attending daily Mass and getting donuts afterwards.  Didn't the Holy Family eat donuts?  OK, maybe not...But it's still a real treat for us:)
Three of our children served daily Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family. Army Dude helped Father T. give us all a good dousing of Holy Water for a blessing...Sure beats a shower!

  Our activity will be picking the name of a family member from a hat.  We will spend a little time writing about the great qualities of that person and why we love them.  The letters will be read in the evening around dinner or prayer.  Dad can e-mail us his letter from work!

Pray for all families, including those from our Christmas cards started earlier in the week.
"God and Father of all, you gave us the Holy Family to serve as an example of love and obedience.  Grant to all people, in family homes or alone, the grace to hold in honor the bonds of love and respect which bind the human race chosen for adoption as your children, through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
~Magnificat Morning Prayer~

Christmas Devotion to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
From the heavenly household on high
Look upon all earthly households today,
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
You were not welcome in Bethlehem;
Embrace those rejected by the world.
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
You were sheltered in a stable;
Protect those who have no home.
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
You heard the angels' song;
Sing to us of heaven's joy.
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
You faithfully observed the divine law;
Show us how to do the will of God.
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
Protected and guided by St. Joseph,
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
Cared for, looked after by Holy Mary,
Pray for us!
Holy Family,
Fulfilled by the Presence of Christ,
Pray for us!
Be our strength in life,
Be our hope in the hour of death.
Pray for us. Amen.

The family is a school which enables men and women to grow to the full measure of their humanity... 
" O God, who in the Holy Family left us a perfect model of family life lived in faith and obedience to your will, help us to be examples of faith and love for your commandments."~Pope Benedict XVI~


  1. I love that you planned out all of Christmas! What a wonderful way to keep the season alive.

    I have an "messy art" blog set to post after the new year. It is always a struggle for me to let go and let the mess happen! But it is always fun when I do.

    Angel Baby's angel is adorable!

  2. Oh my, love the nativity and the candle. Never thought about making a nativity scene from a gingerbread house - brilliant! And the candle with the prayer right on it - fantastic! The art project is super cute, I'm not a "messy mom" either, but someone forgot to mention that to my kids!! ;)

  3. Tiffany, I really enjoy these posts. Our lives are not a priest recently said to me, "Welcome to humanity. Still under construction!" And at the same time, you are not ashamed to pick up and keep moving. Always love your ideas and I especially love these fresh, new ones you have been sharing lately!

  4. Hi Tiffany! I have enjoyed reading ALL your 12 Days of Christmas posts and I'm in awe of the work and thought that went into each activity for the 12 Days of Christmas! I've never seen so much put into each of the 12 days and I think it is a wonderful way to keep Christmas alive well past Dec. 25 when alot of people think Christmas is over! If you don't mind I would like to link up to all your posts and put it on my 12 Days of Christmas post for others to get to your blog posts and for future reference for myself. :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)


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