Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent Week by Week: Week 3 ~ Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia, and Hot Chocolate

Salt dough ornaments, recipe via

This past week was busy and full.  I truly love being Catholic, and being able to celebrate all of the special feast days in addition to simply lighting the Advent candles and singing the Advent songs that I sang growing up!  God is good!  You guys, I can't believe Christmas is only a week away! (Squee!) I hope I'm ready!  This Advent has flown for me... I don't know about you?!

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe~  On Saturday, I made a Mexican feast, and we made salt dough ornaments for decorating our Christmas tree, as a family activity.  It was a lot of fun. 
Salt dough ornaments are so easy. Simply stir together 2 c. flour, 1 c. salt, and 1 c. water. (add flour if too sticky, water if too dry).  Shape with your hands, or using Christmas cookie cutters. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 2-3 hours, or until dry and solid.  Paint with acrylic paint. (More detailed instructions available here).
For our feast, we had meat and cheese quesadillas to eat, and meaty nachos with avocado, diced roma tomatoes, and sour cream.   Then Stephen served his homemade pumpkin bread for dessert! It was a wonderful meal (so much better than fast food!), and it was good chance to discuss the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe with our kids... link credit: Like Mother, Like Daughter.

The Feast of Santa Lucia~ For the feast of St. Lucy, we celebrated by creating the same type of Advent crown/St. Lucy wreath that I made last year, out of Ivy and Rosemary.

Simply gather an ivy vine and some longish sprigs of rosemary. Use twine, some kind of sturdy string, or pipe cleaners to gather the greenery together. Use either pipe cleaners or a twist-tie (like from a loaf of bread) to add birthday candles. Make sure they are very sturdy, and that they are attached very well before lighting the candles! :-)  Just as I did growing up, Molly brought us yummy cinnamon rolls on a platter, we discussed the history of St. Lucy, and we listened to the Swedish version of the song, "Santa Lucia." So beautiful!

Gaudete Sunday~ The third week of Advent is always Gaudete Sunday, which means: Rejoice!  I made this Famous Sweet Potato + Bacon Hash. So. good!  We had mac and cheese and strips of bacon for sides... because, toddlers. ;-)
Bacon = Great rejoicing in our house! {Happy!}

Addressing Christmas cards... such a fun yearly tradition!

image via

Hot Cocoa~  Another fun Christmas tradition is to mix up something special and give away to neighbors and friends. For me, my childhood was blessed with the opportunity to give to others Spiced Tea and Homemade Granola.

I always helped deliver it with my Mom, and in High School, my Mom let me drive around solo, delivering it to our local friends.  I always loved that tradition! ;-) My children and I made Candy Cane Hot Cocoa this year. I used this recipe, based off of this one.

Finally, we had our Christmas Pictures made!

So, my toddler was listening to a show on Netflix recently, and the main character sang, "I know there is something else out there, that will fill this hole inside..." and I thought: Yes. That's what this Advent has been about for me! It is about realizing that the Love, Joy, and Peace of Jesus coming as a baby to earth is enough.  Yes, it is fun to gather the things we need to celebrate each season and feast and holiday. Yes, it is fun to shop for my kids. I anticipate eagerly the feast of our Lord on Christ-Mass.  I look forward with joy- as I'm sure everyone does, especially parents (!!!)- to seeing their faces light up with the magic of the experience. Christmas morning holds more than just a little sweetness in all of our hearts, I'm sure. 

But if your Christmas is bitter for some reason, if you feel a hole inside, or if you have that sinking feeling on Christmas morning that "I know there is something else out there..." remember this: 
Come, Holy Spirit, live in us
With God the Father and the Son,
And grant us your abundant grace
To sanctify and make us one.
May mind and tongue made strong in love
Your praise throughout the world proclaim,
And may that love within our hearts
Set fire to others with its flame.
Most blessèd Trinity of love,
For whom the heart of man was made,
To you be praise in timeless song,
And everlasting homage paid.
-from Universalis (this past Monday's Terce reading)

Like taming a wild horse, I have to constantly bring my mind back from wanting, wondering, and needing. The best way to do this is to remember the joy of this season, and the love I feel from just resting in that.
Another wonderful prayer to remember at this time!

And some Sacred Christmas music for you this time... check out my playlist below. I'm so excited about what I picked out. Truly, truly {pretty}! 

You guys, I'm so glad I'm doing this! It is keeping me more sane, and definitely more organized, for sure! Thank YOU for being awesome readers.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway: HERE! :-D 
Answer me this: Did you do anything to commemorate the Catholic Feast Days during Advent so far this year?
Adding my link to Like Mother, Like Daughter, and This Ain't the Lyceum


Laura {a spoonful of joy} said...

I love that you celebrated on St. Lucy's Day! Once (if?) we ever are blessed with a girl I want to go all out but we did at least have hot buns and cocoa for breakfast. :)
My sister-in-law made salt dough ornaments with my boys last week. They make such a great gift for little ones to give to relatives.
I'll be sure to check out your giveaway! I'm having a one too if you're interested. I'm giving away a handmade baby blanket. Blogging keeps me so much more organized too! :)
Blessings to you during this last stretch of Advent!

Anonymous said...

Ooo I love your playlist! What a good idea. Blessings to you this season!

Chere Mama said...

Oh, your little St. Lucy is adorable!! We have never really celebrated in this way on St. Lucy's day. It's looks really fun in your house!

Amanda Patten said...

We had our baby Simon baptized on the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. It was over 70 degrees outside so I celebrated with Mayan spiced chocolate ice cream, then ate tacos for dinner. Love reading your traditions. Im way behind on everything this year!

Jennifer Hoots said...

Beautiful post. My children used to love to make salt dough anytime I was willing to let them. My daughter also used to dress up at St. Lucia and give us rolls. Aw such sweet times! Thank you for the play list.

Stephanie said...

Your pictures are so festive! Bless you in this final week of preparation!