• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Celebrating the Feast of St. Nicholas


We have celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas since our son was 2 years old. It was just putting our shoes under the Christmas tree on the eve of December 5 and then waking up to find treats and small toys the next morning. 

My shoes, yes I'm just a size 5 and our Son's shoes when he was 3 years old. 

The following year, I prepared by purchasing The Story of St. Nicholas at The Learning Basket Shop. This was also the time when I began making St. Nicholas wooden saint dolls. There may be some more at TLB Shop. So on the eve of St. Nicholas' feast day, we read the book together before bedtime and put out our shoes. 

Since we were talking about St. Nicholas, my mama told me that the wooden bas relief on the porch of my grand parents' house was of St. Nicholas. So when we went to their home, I took a photo.

I pointed and showed it to my 3 year old but he was not interested. Maybe because it was not colorful. I asked my mama why my lola (grandma) had a St. Nicholas, and mama said that my lola loved the saints and always wanted her apos (grandchildren) to know about the saints.

In the next two years, our celebration of St. Nicholas' feast day remained the same. But this year, I plan to have more activities.

 Since we have been drawing the Saints since we started homeschooling in Kindergarten, We will finally, draw St. Nicholas in our Saint journals. We will once again read the book we have on St. Nicholas but this time go deeper into the virtues the Saint has emulated. I made some activities for my 6 year old to do on the day of St. Nicholas' feast and I would like to share it with you. This can be downloaded for FREE until December 5, midnight, Doha time.

And since we also do Geography with our Saint Studies, we will be finding Lycia Where St. Nicholas was born, on the map. Of course we will be looking at Myratoo.

To celebrate with food, we will making oatmeal cookies to go with our warm milk for 'Tea Time' on the day  of St. Nicholas' feast.

Sharing is caring! The St. Nicholas Activity Pack will only be free until December 5. 

I would love to know how you celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day. Share them in the comments?

God bless you.
Click here to download the
St. Nicholas Activity Pack

Friday, November 20, 2020

Start A Family Advent Tradition

Advent is my most favorite Liturgical season because it means preparing. And I love planning and preparing! We awaited to take our adopted son home during Advent so it is at this time of the Liturgical year I am most, you may say, sentimental?

The Advent Wreath Prayer

My husband and I did The Advent Wreath Prayers daily; like what my Mama, Papa, brothers  and I did when we were young and so we continue to uphold this tradition with our son. We use the Advent Wreath Prayer Guide by The Family Prayer Group which can be bought at St. Paul's bookstore in the Philippines. St. Paul's has an online store where you may purchase these booklets.

My Mom's Advent Wreath. She made it. All our Advent wreaths through the years when we were growing up were made by my Mama. Now you see where I get my crafting skills?

25 Books of Christmas Advent Countdown

Another fun family advent tradition we will be doing  this year is the 25 Books of Christmas. We did it for the first time, last year and it was a hit. Some families like to have their books wrapped in fancy gift wrapping or tissue and it looks awesome! Our family, tried to be as frugal as we can last year, so I wrapped the books in old newspapers and magazine pages. Label each book with numbers 1-25. You may use the books you have at home already or new ones, fresh from the bookstore. I used the books (second hand) we ordered from The Learning Basket Shop and Book Boutique PH last year, plus some books we already had. This year we have some books from Pumplepie Books and Happiness, and The Learning Basket. 

Book number 25, Christmas Night. Pardon the PJs

The Jesse Tree

Another Advent family tradition is the Jesse Tree. We are doing this for the second time this year. The first time we did it was because we did not have a Christmas tree yet and had lived in a rented room here in Doha, Qatar. This year, we are making our Jesse Tree out of a kitchen towel tube and barbeque sticks and will be making another set to hang on our 5ft. tall Christmas tree

I would like to share with you the Jesse Tree Ornaments Template I made. You may do the coloring and cutting activity as a family too. I also encourage you to be creative in making your own Jesse Tree.

You can find the printable and a little explanation about The Jesse Tree in this post.

Family Advent Pack

For families who are just starting, I have made a Family Advent pack for you to download and print. It has a calendar and weekly planner for the month of December so you can do your Advent countdown or plan your family's activities. It also has some coloring pages for the children as they learn about the Advent Wreath. I have also included a set of blank prayer cards which you can write your prayers to the Child Jesus and place near his crib in your Nativity Set 

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena

The Christmas Novena by St. Andrew begins on St. Andrew's feast day. The first Sunday of Advent usually begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, which is St. Andrew's feast day. St. Andrew was the first apostle whom Jesus called. And traditions tells that he composed this prayer. I have included the St. Andrew's Christmas Novena in the Advent pack so you can also pray it as a family.

O Antiphons

The seven O Antiphons is recited in the Liturgy of the hours beginning December 17. It is recited at Vespers and so we will add this to our Nightly Advent prayers this year. I have also included small O Antiphon cards which you can read during your family night prayers or also include in your Advent Wreath prayers.

Get Started!

I encourage you to start at least one Family Advent Tradition. Your children will remember and cherish these more than the store bought gifts. I guarantee that. Because I am continuing the family traditions which my family did. It has helped my deepen my relationship with God, with my parents and brothers; and now my very own family.

God bless you!


P.S. Sharing is caring! If you want to share the Advent Family Pack with others, please send them this link and not the file. Thank you!

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