There is only one more day of Advent to go before we celebrate Christmas! And while many may anticipate wrapping up the season in the next few days (after weeks of events and pageants and parties), remember, the season of Christmas is only just beginning. This year the liturgical season of Christmas runs from Sunday, December 25, through the Baptism of the Lord on Monday, January 9.
Here are some ideas of ways to celebrate the full season of Christmas with your family this year, shared with us by parishioners of Christ the King:
■ Bake a birthday cake for baby Jesus, complete with candles. While it’s fun to “bake cookies for Santa,” baking a cake for Jesus brings the focus back to the true reason for the season.
■ Leave the infant Jesus out of the Nativity scene’s manger until Christmas morning, then place Him in the manger as a family, with a prayer before opening any presents.
■ On Christmas Day, place the three wise men in another room, moving them closer to the Nativity scene each day until they reach Him on the Epiphany (observed on January 8 this year). If you have children, it can be fun to let them decide where to move them each day.
■ On the Epiphany, celebrate with a King Cake (named for the Three Wise Men or Three Kings). You can order one online from New Orleans or find one at a local bakery.
■ Bless your home as a family on the Epiphany. Have you ever wondered what the chalk markings were on Catholics’ doors? If this is a new practice for you, we’ll explain its origins and how to participate with your family in a later email.
■ Attend Mass as a family on the Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday, January 8. Then put away Christmas decorations for next year after Mass.
Other parishioners shared great ideas for Advent like lighting the Advent Wreath with your family, having a Jesse Tree in your home where each family member takes turns reading from the book and placing the symbols on the tree, and even wishing others a “Blessed Advent” during Advent and “Merry Christmas” during Christmas.
As Jesus Himself, essentially says in John 15:19 and John 17:14-16, we are in this world but not of this world. So, as easy as it is to get caught up in the secular world, let us as Catholics, not rush through this holy season. Let us keep our focus on the true reason (Jesus) and celebrate the whole season through!