Sunday, December 1, 2013

Keep Christ In Christmas




"I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013
sponsored by the Catholic Bloggers Network.

Be sure to visit as many links as possible,
listed at the bottom of this post.


         I am so excited to be joining again in the 2nd Annual Keep Christ In Christmas Blog Link-Up! 
As a parent, I feel it's very important to instill our faith in our children. At Christmas, when most of society is focused on Santa and the gifts, I try to keep our focus on the real reason for the Christmas season.
The birth of Jesus Christ.
It's hard to keep children focused on the real meaning of Christmas, when we are bombarded with catalogs, toy commercials, and store advertisements. This year the store were decorated for Christmas before Halloween!
So how do we do it?

We keep Christ in Christmas with a variety of activities. 
Each year, we take the month of December off from "regular" school. We continue with English and Math, but our other subjects are replaced with more religion. Our religion focuses on the Advent and Christmas seasons. We do crafts, bake, read Christmas stories, celebrate the Saints, do daily Bible readings to go along with our Jesse Tree ornaments.
This year, I am adding a few new ideas to our schedule. 
 We will continue with our Jesse Tree tradition.


The children enjoy the bible stories and love hanging the ornaments onto our little tree.
We will place our Advent wreath onto our dining room table, like we always do.



Growing up in a family, that focused more on Santa, I have added more religious themed items to our Christmas decorations. I found some wonderful nativity pieces at a local thrift store.
We will pull out the wooden mangers the children made last year.



As they do a good deed, a chore without being asked, etc. they will add a piece of straw to the bed for baby Jesus. 

I purchased a wonderful CD called Advent at Ephesus that is full of Advent songs.

                                                           

Instead of the Elf on the Shelf, I am copying the idea of the Three Wise Men from Jennifer over at Catholic Inspired. I know the kids are going to enjoying searching for the Three Wise Men every day. I just have to make sure I can come up with that many creative places to hide them. I ordered the Three Wise Men from Amazon.

                                                          

We will celebrate Saint Nicholas' feast day again this year. I ordered the Saint Nicholas toy from Playmobil.



We will be adding the celebration of Saint Lucia's day. I plan on making Princess P and her Kirsten doll, Saint Lucia costumes. I think she will be excited.

This year, I have written down each day of the Advent and Christmas season into a notebook.My own little Advent/Christmas planner. For each date and on each page, I have a fun activity, coloring page, craft, and a baked item to do on that day. We will pray the O Antiphons, celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, the Epiphany, and the Baptism of our Lord. My goal this year is to spend the time together as a family. I want my children to grow in their faith and truly know why we celebrate this wonderful season. I want them to learn about the traditions of our Catholic faith and take them with them when they go off and start their own families. Our traditions are the beauty of our religion. We have so few years with our children, it's very important to spend quality time with them. There is no better time them to be with family and to celebrate family than Christmas.



Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas
Simply Homeschool  Living Advent Series 12/1 - 12/25
Fifth of Five                     Keeping Christ in Christmas - Blog Link-up 2013
Coffee Moments with Sam           The Light of Hope
Open Window               Making hay while the Advent wreath shines
Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas
Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual
On the Way Home:  Keep Christ in Christmas
Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others
Mommy Bares All        Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH

Canadian Catholic Mom                Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling               Keep Christ in Christmas
Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas
JoyAlive.net: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Home to 4 Kiddos      Keep Christ in Christmas
Embedded Faith          Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas
City Girl, Country Home                Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?
Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats
Joy of Nine9                   Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child

Splendor in the Home                    Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy
Training Happy Hearts                     10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year
Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus
Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas
A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas
Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent
Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins
Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas
Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Rosary Mom                    Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager
Campfires and Cleats                        How We Keep Christ in Christmas
Homeschooling With Joy              Keeping Christ in Christmas
Mrs Domestic Bliss     Gingerbread Nativity
The Chic Traveller      Keeping Christ in Christmas
California to Korea     Keeping Christ in Christmas
Dominique's Desk       Keeping Christ in Christmas
Our ABC Life: An Advent Update

Journey Living: Anno Domini
Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas
Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts

19 comments:

  1. Your Advent looks to be a very peaceful and blessed time for your family.
    When my children were younger, I kept things very similar.
    I love Jennifer's Wise Men search, too! Fun no matter what age. :o)

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  2. I like the St. Nicholas toy. We decorated St. Nicholas Stocking for the hallways at our school.

    Charlotte

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    1. We love the playmobil toys. I know my kids will love getting them in their shoes for Saint Nicholas day.

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  3. I have wanted to do that Wisemen looking for Baby Jesus idea for years now, but cannot find those Playmobil ones anywhere :( or they are too expensive! Such a cute idea! Maybe I'll make some that have moveable arms (I have small stuffed felt dolls that I made, but wouldn't be as fun as the moveable ones). Great post!

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    Replies
    1. I used my points from swagbucks.com to earn amazon gofts cards to purchase my wise men. My kids have really enjoyed searching for them.

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    2. What a great idea! Maybe i'll save up my points, in hope of buying them for next Advent

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  4. Monique, I hadn't seen those wonderful Playmobil pieces. I am sorry I didn't hear about hiding the wise men every day. What a great idea. Maybe I will try to do that between Christmas and Epiphany for our boys.

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  5. I like your threenkings idea from Jennifer and I've been on the fence about the Ephesus Cd. I may just head over to amazon for those things.

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    Replies
    1. The Cd is beautiful. I highly recommened it!

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  6. Monique,

    I'll be looking for the Advent CD too. We have lots of Christmas music but I'd like to focus more on Advent hymns at this time of year.

    I just wrote a comment to one of your other posts wondering if your Wise Men were Lego figures. Now I have the answer. They are Playmobil! Ours are made out of cornflake box cardboard and felt. They have lasted for 18 years and still going strong!

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  7. A good point about the twelve days of Christmas; hopefully you'll be sharing some more tips then? God bless.

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  8. Love these ideas! I think I might try to do the three wise men next year. This is our first year to celebrate Advent/Christmas as Catholics so I am learning so much and just want to "do it all", but I know I can't as I will get way to overwhelmed! Baby steps! :)

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  9. I loved this post!

    "I want my children to grow in their faith and truly know why we celebrate this wonderful season. I want them to learn about the traditions of our Catholic faith and take them with them when they go off and start their own families. Our traditions are the beauty of our religion." - how true!!

    I like the idea of taking a small break from schoolwork to focus more on the season. We hope to homeschool, and I will keep this in mind. Thanks for the mention of the Advent cd - I've been searching for some good Advent music!

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  10. I love all your traditions, many are very similar to our family's! I pinned the Shower of Roses link you provided for the felt Jesse Tree ornaments because one of these days I want to switch from paper to felt ornaments! We do the "straw" for Jesus in a basket also and the wisemen on a mission idea from Catholic Inspired. I love Jennifer's ideas and Shower of Roses and yours too! I'm a new follower of your blog and "like" on your blog's FB page. Your blog is beautiful! Happy and blessed Advent to you!

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  11. Hi Monique, you have an impressive Advent plan for your family. Baking each day in the Advent or saint theme will really impress the meaning of preparing for Jesus on your children. We're fortunate in this day that we can find an abundance of great Catholic ideas to celebrate Advent or any time of the liturgical year, on the internet. I've learned more as an adult teaching kids than when I was a child. I do wish when my son was younger, that they had the wise men and Santa toys. May God pour out his love and graces on you and your family.

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  12. Trying the Jesse Tree for the first time this Advent...my 7 year old loves it! I'm still making my 3 Kings...they might just wait until Christmas before they tour around towards Epiphany =) only because I'm not finished making them!

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  13. I didn't realize Playmobil had religious figures. I'll have to send them to my nieces and nephews!

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  14. I love the Playmobil set but have yet to budget for it. I like your swagbucks idea in the comments above. :)

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