Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keeping Christ in Christmas and {GIVEAWAY}

Over the years , the Advent and Christmas seasons have somehow lost their uniqueness and their TRUE meanings. Advent is the four weeks prior to Christmas and is meant to be a time to prepare or the coming of Christ. It is a time of anticipation and longing. This is when we clean our homes, eliminate clutter and decorate. We begin cooking special treats that will be shared during the Christmas season. If you are still searching for some ideas on how to make your Advent season more Holy check out my entire Advent series below:

Now, Christmas is the season following Advent and is so much more than one day of unwrapping presents. The Christmas season is actually much longer and means so much more! The official end to Christmas ends with the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Why are we in such a hurry to finish celebrating the birth of our Savior? I am going to share some ideas that will help you recenter the focus of your Christmas season.

Christmas Day: December 25th

The most important thing to remember today is that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is his birthday! If you take a look at all the family traditions you have on this special day from the perspective of you celebrating baby Jesus's birthday, everything will become more meaningful. Those presents under your tree are not just presents, but gifts that Jesus wants you to use to spread joy and love because he is the light of the world. Another easy and simple way to make today about Jesus is to bake him a Birthday Cake! You could even top them with candles: one for each family member, or even put the year written out with number candles. Today is also the day we light our Christ Candles. If you have a nativity displayed, now would be a perfect time to start moving the wise men a little closer to the Nativity each day, until they arrive on the Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day.

Feast of Holy Innocents: December 28th

The feast of Holy Innocents is celebrated in remembrance of all the babies that were martyred while King Herod was searching for the baby Jesus. Today is also known as the youngest day. It is traditional to allow the youngest child to dictate the day and to celebrate with special treats that are white and red. White represents the purity of the innocent children and red represents their blood that was shed. Start a new tradition of blessing your children before bed with holy water each night. I know my boys love it! 

O Lord, omnipotent Father, we give you thanks for having given us children. They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fear and labors which bring us pain. Help us to love them sincerely. Through us you gave life to them; from eternity you knew them and loved them. Give us wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our example.

Support our love so that we may receive them back when they have strayed and make them good. It is often so difficult to understand them, to be as they would want us to be, to help them to go on their way. Grant that they may always see our home as a haven in their time of need. Teach us and help us, O good Father, through the merits of Jesus, your Son and our Lord. Amen.

Feast of the Holy Family: December 30th

The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. This is a day to celebrate the "domestic church" within your home.

O most loving Jesus, Who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness, and by the example of Thy domestic life, didst bless with peace and happiness the family Thou didst choose on earth, in Thy clemency look down upon this household, humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy. Remember that this family belongs to Thee; for to Thee we have in a special way dedicated and devoted ourselves. Look upon us in Thy loving kindness; preserve us from danger; give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family; that having revered Thee and loved Thee faithfully on earth, we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.

O Mary, most sweet Mother, to thy intercession we have recourse, knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.

And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, assist us by thy powerful mediation, and offer, by the hands of Mary, our prayers to Jesus. Amen.

Feast of Mary, Mother of God: January 1st

This is the first Holy Day of Obligation for the New Year. It's fitting that it is the first day of the New Year as well. Calling Mary "mother of God" is the highest honor we can give Mary. Just as Christmas honors Jesus as the "Prince of Peace," the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God honors Mary as the "Queen of Peace" This solemnity is also designated the World Day of Peace.

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus: January 3rd

Today we celebrate Jesus being named. It is after his circumcision and in honor of Mary fulfilling what the angel foretold. 

Feast of the Epiphany: January 8th

Today is known as the day the three wise men came to see the new born king. It is known as the Epiphany and Three Kings Day. It is traditional to have a celebration on this day that includes enjoying a King Cake and blessing your home with blessed chalk. On your home paint the letters "20+C+M+B+17" which are for the Latin Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house). At the same time the letters are the first letters of the names of the wise men: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. 
Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord: January 9th

This is the "official" end of the Christmas season and is time to remove the Christmas decorations. It is custom if you have a real Christmas tree to celebrate the end of this magical season with a bonfire. Celebrate a renewal of your own Baptismal vows and finish off your Christmas treats today.

In addition to these special feast days and their traditions, remember to keep Christ in Christmas by sending Christmas Cards, singing Christmas Carols, plan a Twelfth Night party! I came across this neat resource called Why Christmas? and it has many online games including build your own nativity and build your own wisemen! Want to see more? Make sure to come back and see how I celebrate with my family throughout the Christmas season.

I am sharing this post with the CWBN Blog Hop. The hoppers participating here - affectionately calling ourselves the Siena Sisters* -- will post on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The posts go live at the same time; and are all linked to this central landing page; allowing for easier visiting between blogs. We hope you will read many of them; as well as comment on the posts, and share them on social media.

In honor of Keeping Christ in Christmas I am running my first ever Giveaway thanks to the amazingly talented Jen from Faith and Fabric! The winner will get to pick one of the beautiful metal cuff bracelets stamped with "Pinot Noir and Prayers". Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Lots of great ideas here!! It's so nice to see others taking part in many of the same traditions we do and carrying on the true meaning of Christmas!! God bless you guys!!

    1. Thank you! I love celebrating the Liturgical Year! God Bless you and your family as well!

  2. I love how our Faith is so rich with feast days over Advent/Christmastime.
    So blessed.
    Love your post.

    1. I agree! Thank you so much for commenting and I am so glad you liked it!

  3. What a great, thorough overview of the Christmas season!

  4. Thank you for this post - I love the reminders about all the special days after Christmas Day!

  5. I love that they are able to be personalized and they are so original!

    1. Thank you! I really think Faith and Fabric did an AMAZING JOB!

  6. What a nice style! They look great with jeans.

  7. Ah! The beauty of the Liturgical year! I am really looking forward to celebrating all 12 days of Christmas!!! Thanks for sharing x

    1. Yes! I love celebrating the Liturgical year! Everyday is a special day!

  8. Woo hoo! Now that you've been stamped onto metal, you're official. :)

    1. LOL that's exactly how I feel! It's a cool thing :)