Monday, September 13, 2010

Traditions Continued

After remembering my favorite childhood traditions, talking to Tom about his favorite childhood traditions, and thinking about the traditions we have always wanted to do we have come up with a general idea of what we want Advent and Christmas to be like. Here is our list of traditions that we wish to do:


1) Start finding and setting up decorations after Thanksgiving so that we are ready on the first Sunday of Advent. We will start with only an Advent wreath and Nativity Scene and slowly add decorations throughout Advent so that we put up the final glory touches on Christmas Eve. Our hope to add a wow factor and make Christmas seem magical.

2) Advent Wreath. We would like to follow the tradition of lighting the advent candles every Sunday in Advent and having on our table as a constant reminder of what we are doing. In my family we used the same prayer service every year. In Tom's family they used a different one each year. I like the idea of only having one that we use each year and it is something that over the years the children kind of start to memorize. We have yet to find a prayer service that both of us are satisfied with.

3) The night before the feast of St. Nicholas we will hang stockings and put small religious gifts in them. When the children open their gifts we can discuss everything St. Nicholas did in his lifetime.

4) Feast of the Immaculet Conception is Dec.8 I have no idea how to celebrate this properly. Any ideas?

5) Feast of St. Lucy we will make fresh bread and have a nice breakfast feast.

6) We plan on putting up the Christmas tree between the third and fourth week of Advent but not light it until after Christmas vigil.

7) I have thought about doing an Advent calendar or some sort of prayer/count down to Christmas. What have been your favorite thing to do?


1 ) Christmas Vigil followed by an "after vigil party" where we will have a cheese and meat tray (from Swiss Colony Catalog), nuts (peanut free from Nifty Nut House), and a homemade sweet.  This is when we will light up the Christmas tree and open our first gift.

2) Christmas morning we will have a big breakfast with cinnamon rolls.

3) We will light the Christ candle either at the after vigil party or Christmas morning with a small prayer service.

4) We plan on opening up our gifts slowly throughout the 12 days of Christmas.

5) There are 12 days of Christmas not 1 like most in our country celebrate. We hope to make all 12 festive and not have that after Christmas day let down that everyone seems to have. We plan on doing this by have very nice festive meals and desserts every night throughout the 12 days. We will also not open all of our gifts on Christmas day but spread it out over the Christmas season.


To be able to pull off having treat all 12 days of Christmas and have our home feeling like it is overflowing with Christmas joy we need to have lots of treats that are not stressing mama. I think the best way to accomplish this is to have a list of treats that we want to have and start once a week in October baking/making mixes and putting them back or freezing them. Here is the my first brainstorming list. This is not my final list some of these may go, some may be added, I don't really know. My goal is to make a list of the sweets we are going to have and a schedule of when they are going to be baked.

1) chocolate chip cookie dough frozen so that we can have fresh baked cookies whenever we want them.

2) Brownie mixes

3) Chocolate Pecan Pie

4) Coconut cream praline pie

5) Chocolate pie

6) cake mixes

7) Kettle corn

8 ) Puppy Chow (peanut free version)

9) Fudge

10) Toffee

11) Cheese cake (does homemade cheesecake freeze?)

12) Sugar cookies

13) Petite fours? Tom want to try making them but I am not sure we can pull that off.


  1. We always put out shoes for St. Nicholas when I was a child and do that with our kids now. As for celebrating the full 12 days of Christmas, we didn't do all that - though we did celebrate New Year's Eve, Day, and my brother's birthday (which is Jan. 2nd), so we kept festive, lol! But we always went to my grandmother's house for the Feast of the Ephiphany for a big Italian meal - okay, a store-bought Sara Lee lasagna that even my Irish grandmother could manage, lots of garlic bread and salad...yum... we'd close out the season with one last big meal. Now I try to make sure we have a nice Feast of the Epiphany, to keep up that tradition.

  2. Hannah, my favorite advent/christmas calendar is at; search for "Fling Wide the Doors." I love it. Conception Abbey sells several different versions of Advent prayers for not very much. We did use the same advent prayers growing up; it's only recently that we've branched out. I have a copy at the house if you want to see: it uses the opening prayer from that Sunday of Advent and then adds an "O" antiphon at that time. At our house we do the advent wreath at supper and the calendar at bed time--if we have a chocolate advent calendar, we do that for breakfast. :) For Immaculate Conception, we do two things: 1. a nice meal; 2. use the day to gather Christmas preparations (buying Christmas stamps, addressing Christmas cards, doing a little Christmas shopping) since it's our only day off for everyone in the advent season. It's a nice preparation day.

  3. I am impressed with how organized you are for Advent. Last year all we did was light the candles and open the calendar each day.

  4. For Immaculate Conception, I make a white dinner- like fettucine alfredo, the kids wear white to school. One year I tied a white ribbon on their wrists so they would remember Mary and her purity.
    For St. Lucy, we have nice breakfast of cinnamon rolls served by my oldest daughter in the tradition of the Swedes. I don't have a white dress or a wreath with candles for her head... maybe this year. Also, St. Lucy's day is the day we plant our Christmas wheat in the Hungarian tradition (btw, we aren't Swedish or Hungarian) You can get this wheat from the Sisters of Social Service

    The other thing we do is celebrate Christmas clear up to the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in mid January. It's truly wonderful to do this and really drives it home with the kids since it is so counter-cultural.

    I'm glad you posted this in your small successes. I should probably start getting ready.

  5. Thank you for all of the wonderful replies!!
    Phoebe: I like the idea of a big Italian meal during Christmas. We actually normally do that Christmas eve with Fettuccine Alfredo. I have just figured out how to make Lasagna (homemade noodles and homemade sauce is the only way I can eat it. I had never made one before so it was an adventure! I will have to write a blog about it sometime.)
    Millie: Thank you for the ideas! I would love to see the advent prayer service you use sometime.
    Lynn: Thank you! I am not an organized person but I am attempting to be!
    Mary: I LOVE your idea for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!!! I will definitely do that!

  6. Привет как дела ? Статья класс :)

  7. So true. Honesty and eevrtyihng recognized.

  8. Ah, i see. Well that's not too tkrciy at all!"

  9. Articles like these put the consumer in the dvreir seat-very important.

  10. Now I know who the banriy one is, I'll keep looking for your posts.

  11. Check that off the list of tihngs I was confused about.

  12. Good point. I hadn't thohugt about it quite that way. :)

  13. Please keep thrwonig these posts up they help tons.

  14. Many many quality pontis there.

  15. Приветики материал для статьи.! Прям как сюжет фильма этот материал вы откуда то своровали ? Я уже читал его ! :(

  16. You've got it in one. Couldn't have put it bteetr.