Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Feast Days: Dec. 6: Feast of Saint Nicholas

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This Advent season I haven't been updating my blog as much as I'd like, but I've been updating my blog's Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts with all the activities we have been doing during Advent.  We are continuing to read our Advent read-aloud books by unwrapping one Christmas book each evening under our Advent tree.  We are also enjoying the Advent storybook as a family, Ishtar's Odyssey.

There are many wonderful feast days in the Catholic Church that we celebrate as a family leading up to the celebration of our Savior's birth.  On December 6 each year we celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas.


To celebrate Saint Nicholas' feast day each year our children set their shoes out by the fireplace on the evening of December 5 so that "St. Nicholas" can leave treats and goodies in their shoes to remember how Bishop Nicholas secretly gave coins to 3 sisters who were too poor to pay for a dowry in order to get married. 

This year St. Nicholas left small bags of chocolate gold coins, clementines, candy canes, Little Debbie Christmas cakes, Little Drops of Water charms that I won on Allison's blog at Reconciled to You, the books Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins and The Miracle of the Myrrh, Our Lady of Guadalupe ornament, Nativity snow globe, Little Drops of Water Holy Family figurine that I also won at Reconciled to You and a Saint Patrick Shining Light Doll (in anticipation for St. Patrick's Day in March)

"St. Nicholas" also displayed items that we already owned: the Star from Star from Afar that I hide (when I remember) each day so my younger children can look for it, a Saint Nicholas printout from St. Nicholas Center, the St. Nicholas Shining Light Doll, the 3 Wise Men and camel from our Playmobil Nativity set that I also hide during Advent (when I remember), and the St. Nicholas and angel Playmobil set we have. 

We also decorated our Advent tree with the St. Nicholas ornament I made a few years ago.

In the morning on St. Nicholas' Day this year, our family hosted a St. Nicholas party where we had a family come speak about their Christmas miracle when their son was very sick from bacterial meningitis in 2010.  After he was miraculously healed this family uses their story to help others by collecting "Zach Sacks" for those babies, children and families who are in the hospital over Christmas.  Be sure to read more about their story and ministry at my blog post HERE.  After the family told their story we collected gifts to fill some Zach Sacks that will be delivered at Christmas in our local hospital.

After the presentation, we had a potluck lunch.   One family brought the gorgeous cake from a local bakery.

I made St. Nicholas cookies with my 9 year old daughter for the potluck lunch.   I made these for the first time last year.  The ingredients are listed on my post from the archives

I also displayed the books Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend and Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins along with the St. Nicholas peg doll that I received at the Saint doll exchange last year.

It was another fun St. Nicholas feast day to remember and honor the Bishop who was so loving and giving to so many and spread the Good News of the Gospel to all those he met!

Loving God, we thank you for
      the example of St Nicholas,
      who fed the hungry,
      brought hope to the imprisoned,
      gave comfort to the lost,
      and taught the truth to all.
May we strive to imitate him
      by putting you first in all we do.
Give us the courage, love and strength
      of St Nicholas, so that, like him,
      we may serve you through loving
      our brothers and sisters.  Amen.

—by Amy Welborn

And one more thing...Since Christmas is so close, maybe you are thinking of doing some baking for family and friends?  Be sure to check out my guest post on Heather's blog at Life of a Homeschool Mom where I wrote my post Yummy {and quick} Christmas Treats for the Letter "Y" in the 4th Annual ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series.....


Billie Jo said...

Tracy, I wish I were your neighbor! I would love to celebrate these feast days with you! As it is, I shall follow your lead and make them as special as I can. Thank you for sharing!

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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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