Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 2011 Plans

This is a little late in coming. Between illness, regular household business, and typical pregnancy issues, I am just a teensy bit tired come the end of the day. Here is our monthly to-do without further ado (naturally, plans change but this gives me a good idea of what I want to do in an ideal world).

Monthly Dedication: Holy Souls

I like the idea of a picture altar of deceased loved ones. For us, most of our family is still living, and of those who have passed, I do not have pictures of them. For our altar, I instead created a simple gravestone with a simple prayer for the deceased on it, and it stands next to a candle. We will add liturgical items throughout the month. Each night, until Advent, we will say a prayer for the dead using the Little Litany of the Holy Souls.

All Saints Day (November 1st)

  • Attend Mass (holy day of obligation).
  • Make a list of mine and the kids favorite saints - use this to create 2x2 (or 4x4) squares of "art".
  • Play Saints Bingo.
  • Decorate with mini pumpkins - write each child's name and meaning on the pumpkin. Carve off the top and put in a candle.
  • Play and sing For All the Saints hymn.
  • At nightfall, before bed, light a candle and say a rosary for the dead in anticipation of the following day (All Souls).

All Souls Day
  • Make a fun breakfast or lunch of ghost toast (ghost-shaped toast with egg middle).
  • Enjoy a soul cake.
  • Read Father Phillip Tells a Ghost Story.
  • Open up discussion on the holy souls.
  • Get out the family albums and look through them, telling stories (ideally visiting family, especially the older generation).
  • Visit a cemetery - explore and pray for the dead.
  • Have a special dinner: soul food of pea soup (add in some cornbread) and top off with a bones of the dead dessert (white chocolate covered pretzel sticks). Decorate with saint-o-lantern, mini pumpkins, baptismal candles (to remind us that we strive to die in our baptismal innocence so that we may be with God in Heaven).

First Friday: St. Martin of Tours (November 4th)
  • Tell story of St. Martin of Tours using "puppet" Roman soldier, cloak, and beggar.
  • Make a paper bag lantern to use on his feast day.
  • Learn a lantern walk song: My Lantern! My Lantern!
Election Day in the U.S. (November 8th)
  • Head to the polls with the kids.
  • Make U.S.A. streamers - attach red, white, and blue crepe streamers to a paper towel roll or a paper plate.
  • Vote for dinner: have picture ballot of main dish, vegetable, drink, dessert.
St. Martin of Tours (November 11th)
  • Gift new pjs to the kids (to keep warm through the cold winter).
  • Hang up first blessing on our Grateful Tree.
  • Decide what to do as a family (individual as well if desired) of what we want to do this holiday season as our charitable act.
  • Have a special gathering with our First Friday families to take a traditional lantern walk, sing songs, and follow-up with social time and drinks/snacks.
  • **This is also Veteran's Day in the U.S. I will add a bit to our school lesson this day by reading "A Remembrance Day Story," saying a prayer for our veterans and current military men and women, and having the kids do something online (coloring page or puzzle).
St. Elizabeth of Hungary (November 17th)
  • Tell her story and read a poem.
  • Pray for the salvation and holiness of relatives (much needed as I am the only practicing Catholic on my husband's side, and the only practicing anything on my family's side).
  • Go over spiritual and corporeal works of mercy with the kids.
  • Bake bread, giving loaves to others - warm and ready to eat for their supper with a note of explanation of the day and custom.
Christ the King (November 20th)
  • Make a Christ the King banner (kind of like this one).
  • Possible craft to use for Advent: make crown on poster board and have kids "earn" jewels for the infant Jesus by doing good deeds.
  • Have a procession - one carrying a picture of Jesus and another the banner craft - to our altar table. Say prayer and possible play/sing song.
  • Follow procession with special dinner: ham with spirit glaze (eat off leftovers before Thanksgiving), scalloped potatoes, green beans, applesauce, rolls, King cake (for us, this is an orange bundt cake with orange rum sauce).
Week of Thanksgiving

  • Visit a local pottery store to have the kids make some Christmas ornaments as gifts (you have to get in early here!).
  • Read "The First Thanksgiving Story" and make maple syrup popcorn balls to go along with it.
  • Fingerprint turkey craft - when it dries, wrap around a toilet paper roll to use as a table decoration.
  • Play some online games and puzzles.
  • Day of: meal and board games. New tradition of adding a table runner where we can write something special from the past year. For the day itself, I was planning on staying home, but my in-laws are pushing for us to come visit. Time will tell to see how I feel. Traveling is hard enough, but add to it the fact that I have to basically make an additional meal so the kids and I can take part in the festivities definitely adds to the work when you have to cart it long-distance. They do try to keep it gluten-free, bless them, but then forget about dairy/soy/egg-free (not that I am totally abstaining these days but a day chock-full of that... Not a good idea!).
Some Extras

  • Art: 
    • Absorbing Artwork using card stock, a rimmed baking sheet, glue, salt, eyedropper, and colored water.
    • Watercolor postcards. Write "thank you" on them and send out to family and friends just because.
    • Watercolor a bare tree sunset picture as we head toward winter.
  • "Blessings" leaf banner for fireplace.
  • Grateful Tree - start hanging leaves of "grateful items" starting on Martinmas.
  • Spend some time talking about the Liturgical year - perhaps make a wheel for the coming year; hopefully finish my priest vestment craft to go up on our family altar.
  • Food: 
    • turkey snack
    • pear fritters (cinnamon rolls with a twist on the filling) - I really wanted to make this last year and did not so perhaps I will be up to it this year. What a wonderful Thanksgiving morning breakfast (the day is already shot, so why not?).


  1. Nice! I wish I was this organized. I'll come back here for ideas.

  2. Elisa, doing all the "work" at once makes it easier for me to actually do some of this with the kids. If I didn't, it's too easy for me to skip out on it. Plus, I do tend towards being organized overall. This helps me focus instead of getting overwhelmed by all I could be doing. :)


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