Friday, December 9, 2016

Advent Week by Week: Week 2~ Breakfast with Santa, St. Nicholas Day, and The Immaculate Conception

How is your Advent going thus far? Are you feeling prepared for the season of the twelve Days of Christmas?  Have you lit your Advent candle on your Advent wreath? Do you have an Advent calendar posted somewhere? We're really enjoying the season, already. If you missed it, read my Advent Week 1 post here.

As always, today I want to share our Advent journey with you. I will share our joys, challenges, and missteps here. Before I get to the nitty gritty, I want to respond to some of the feedback I have received online and in person. The biggest complaint I have heard in response to my first Advent post is: But we don't want our Advent to be busy.

I agree. I think the distinguishing factor (and the purpose of this series, here) is that we are trying to replace Christmas traditions in December with Advent traditions, so that the Christmas traditions can fall during the 12 days of Christmas, the *real* Christmas in the Church calendar/ Church year. Combine that with American traditions, and you have a few obligations! 

However, keeping things quiet, peaceful, and restful does not have to preclude a few traditions and activities for our children. I know myself, and some days, there are so many hours that I just don't know how to fill them and keep my kids busy, without turning to the TV, youtube, or games on ~choose your device here.~  So try to see these posts not as "filler to keep you as busy as possible," but rather, opportunities to replace meaningless activity with fruitful time.

Every year at the girls' school, they have an event called Breakfast with Santa. I help by volunteering at the Craft Table, and now that we have three girls in school, Madeleine got to tag along as a Pre-K student! {photo bomb credit: Santa Claus}

They always have lots of games and activities and crafts for the kids. Frances and Molly now look forward to this so much!

Also, plenty of cute photo ops! Aw.... my sweeties ;-) Fun! :0)
Here we are... wondering what we want to get from Santa. :0)
I was wishing that we got one where all of our eyes are open. Alas...

Annabel (15 months) is at a fun age to just be-bop around and watch the girls. The cutest thing is that she has learned to say "Wow!" She loves watching her big sisters!

The food is always very good! Pancakes, bacon, sausage and egg casserole and hash brown casserole. Hot cocoa and coffee. And fruit! ;) Yum, yum, yummy!

We had a special breakfast for St. Nicholas Day, which was Tuesday December 6th this year. 

I made these Cinnamon Scones but lessened the cinnamon and sugar, and instead folded in chocolate chips. I also made these almond scones, and they were delicious! The kids gobbled them all up! :0)

We don't do the "shoes," but we do Santa Claus- St. Ni....claus.  I think it is a wonderful tradition, and one reason I love it is that it is exclusively for children- and it's all about children. And I'm *sure* that's how the real St. Nicholas would have wanted it! It increases the magic, wonder, and delight. This seasonal tradition is observed by millions around the world! I personally think it cannot do harm to little souls, because it for them, and it is about them. Our kids- especially and even our toddlers- love and adore the books about Santa that we own! ;-) We got a couple of new books for the kids, from St. Nick. There were chocolate coins and chocolate Santas.  It was a sweet morning, pun intended! And we got one funny comment, from Madeleine: "How did St. Nicholas come down from Heaven to give us these things?!" Well, I think at the very least they're getting that it is the same person, so that's good! haha

It was observation week, so I got to visit Molly's Ballet class this week. Normally we would attend a Nutcracker performance, but our company is doing A Christmas Carol this year.;) Our girls could have been in it, but I didn't have them audition this year. Too busy. I just found it hilarious that a toddler boy was making himself at home with his blankie during their class. #blankiephotobomb His parents took turns taking him out shortly thereafter. He didn't stay there the whole time. lol

Our kids watched the Veggie Tales movie St. Nicholas this week. Highly recommended, for toddlers.
Stephen pulled out the Nintendo he received when he was about eleven years old, and to our surprise, it still worked (!!!) ... even when connected to a TV only used for Netflix and Amazon streaming! He taught the kids "video games" - something they had never heard of. Anders kept asking me to "play a video." ha. I told him, "Ok... when daddy gets home." :-0 #mariobrothers #oldschool
Molly's art, made at school on The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Well, 4/7 of our family made it to Mass on The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The music at our parish was delightful. Cheerful, yet honorable and respectful. I took a short video of the last two minutes or so of the song they sang, Angelus ad Virginem and you can hear it/view it on Youtube. So beautiful!

Just to keep it real, I'm 18 weeks now, and I'm feeling it. I had to forego my self-righteousness about listening to Christmas music in Advent, and I have been rotating through about three CD's in my car as I drive the kids home from school. Here's why: This week, in addition to feeling rotten (just more tired than usual, but I have had some good days of the second trimester kind), I had to fulfill an obligation for getting pulled over for a registration expiration. I had to get everything together including the emissions testing, registration, and proof of insurance, and show the judge my information at court. It was quite a headache to get it prepared, since the day before was St. Nicholas Day and I was cleaning, baking, and preparing the table~ so, Christmas music it is/was! :-0 #appeaseanxiety #seasonalmoodboosters #keepitreal #keepithonest #keepithumble The judge was very nice, and she dismissed my case, but going to court for the first time in very well over a decade was just about the most dreaded and humbling thing to do during Advent. I think it is for my refinement and humility, if nothing else. I was dead last, so I was there from 9-12. It was slightly entertaining to hear the entire courtroom full of speeding tickets, accidents, texting and driving, registration expiration, etc. #thrillingtimes #notsomuch If nothing else, seeing other people get in trouble does something for the soul... perhaps it reminded me that everyone gets in trouble sometimes? Or maybe it alerted me to how many people tell the judge that they can't show proof of insurance because their car was totaled? (2 people). I don't know but I do not recommend it. If your registration is about to expire, do me a favor and go get it renewed today.

Linking up with Kelly


Katie Fitzgerald said...

It's so fun to have a one-year-old at this time of year. My younger daughter is 14 months and she is just in awe of everything. I'm also impressed by the Santa in your photos - I haven't seen too many convincing ones around our area.

Tacy said...

I know, right?!

Thanks for the comment. <3