Monthly Dedication: the Immaculate Conception
This will truly be woven throughout the month, especially as we near Christmas. Of course, there is a special day set aside for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception that we will observe (see below).
St. Nicholas (December 6th)
Saint Nicholas is always a fun feast day. There are truly hundreds of ideas out there, but we are keeping it simple. The kids will wake up to some St. Nick coins (golden coins with pictures of St. Nicholas attached) as a surprise. We will also read St. Nicholas, the Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer, as well as watch Nicholas, the Boy Who Became Santa. A special pizza for lunch, hot cocoa as an afternoon treat, and having the kids do something in secret will round out the day.
St. Ambrose (December 7th)
This is such a simple feast day for us, but it is so much fun. This is the day the kids and I make our Christ candle. Last year we simply stuck some Nativity stickers around a white pillar candle. This year I may do the same. If I am up for it, I would like to have the kids make holiday candles for Christmas. This kit looks neat (or go to Hearth Song directly to see some fun candle decorating kits), but to keep costs down, a few plain, white candles and some crayons will do the trick. Plus, the kids will have fun melting wax and creating a unique candle. A great book to read on this day is The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th)
A holy day. That means Mass is in order. In addition to Mass, the kids will do a crayon resist art project using Catholic Icing's coloring page of Mary in the womb and we will read Mary, Our Mother. This is the day we make our "Mary" candle using the Christ candle we made the day before. The candle sits in the center of of our Advent wreath, and to make it a Mary candle, it is covered with a white cloth (ours is a doily) and tied with a blue ribbon. The Christ candle is then unveiled Christmas Eve night.
If I am up for it, we will also have a special "white" dinner: white tablecloth, white lilies/flowers, all-white dinner. Based on my dinner ratio lately, this might not happen!
Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12th)
At the very least, we will recognize this day by reading The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie de Paola and having a Mexican-themed dinner (always a favorite here!). Some festive tableware would be in order - blue tablecloth with golden stars and roses. I would love to do make a textile picture for an art project (using things like dried rice, beans, popcorn kernels, cornmeal, etc.) for this image of OL of Guadalupe. The kids have enjoyed textile pictures in the past and it has been a long while since we have done one.
St. Lucy (December 13th)
This is a new feast day for us. At the very least, I have a prayer/poem to read to the kids as well as the book Lucia Saint of Light by Katherine Bolger Hyde. It would also be fun for the kids to dress up and/or have some traditional St. Lucia crown/bread or sweet bread/rolls, but we will see how it goes.