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A Journey to Nativity

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a Journey to Nativity calendar.  Well, I finished it! Can you believe it is only 6 weeks until Christmas?  Approximately.

Every year I try to get ahead of the busyness of the season by making a loose plan for the holidays.  The Nativity fast begins on the 15th of this month, and it would be nice to be a bit more organized and intentional this year.  When I say loose, I mean that my plan is just a spine.  I am sure that I will add to it, and not get to some of the activities on my calendar.

I divided my days into four categories:

Cleaning/Organizing
Cooking
Caring
Sharing

I do not have activities planned for each category for every day. That would be impossible.  I tried to schedule things with peace and good will in mind.  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We have so many cultural and spiritual traditions that make this season the highlight of the year. I love to ready my home, cook, and enjoy all the music and treats.  The calendar I made does not include spiritual readings.  However, I am using a little book entitled Daily Meditations and Prayers for the Christmas, Advent Fast and Epiphany.  

If you would like to see my calendar just click on the link:

Below I have included just a few things we are planing to include on our Journey to Nativity.
I plan on doing this with the books I have on hand.  I am going to wrap them up, put them under the tree, and let the littles open them once a week for a new Christmas story treat!
I wrote this little story for my kids last year.  I read it aloud while they made leaf rubbed vellum lanterns.  Feel free to print and share.  This is also a great time to clean out the coat closet and replenish coats, hats. gloves, and scarves.  Donate gently used items to a shelter.

On this day the kids and I are going to go to church and then drop off all of our baby items as a donation to a local pregnancy outreach center.  The troparion of the feast can be sung at meals and prayer times. 
Troparion:
Today is the preview of the good will of God,

Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
0 Divine Fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation.

 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0689846819/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Shoes left by the front door filled with chocolate coins and a small gift.  We love reading the stories of Saint Nicholas.  Click the image for the link.
  Click on the image for the link.  
  
After Saint Barbara was martyred by her own father he was struck by lightening.  It is tradition to celebrate this day with fire…maybe some fireworks/sparklers.  Serve some spiced cider and read the story of this great saint. Don’t forget s’mores!

   A few things to think about as the Nativity Fast approaches and we prepare for Christ’s birth:

  • A lenten menu.
  • When will you confess?
  • Gifts for priests and their families.
  • Making room in the budget for charitable giving.
  • Readings, inspirational books, and prayers!
Well, I hope this little post is as helpful to you as it is me.  Happy planning!  
O Come, O Come Emmanuel

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4 thoughts on “A Journey to Nativity

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