As the song goes: It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s a time of hope, faith, joy, and peace as we prepare for the coming of our Lord.
We spread our holiday spirit with our loved ones … our neighbors … and even with complete strangers.
There’s no shortage of traditions. Baking, decorating, praying, volunteering, and more.
Growing up, I loved our annual trip to the Optimist Club’s lot to pick out our Christmas tree. We had vaulted ceilings so we always got a really tall Charlie Brown tree.
My dad strung the lights, we all added ornaments, and my mom fussed at my dad for throwing clumps of tinsel on the tree. She believed strongly that tinsel should be added one strand at a time. I tend to agree.
I also loved driving around looking at Christmas lights. Almost every house was lit up back then. And there was a constant flow of cars out looking at the beautiful light displays.
My husband and I still drive around every Christmas looking
at for lights. We have to cover more geographical area to find the decorated houses. Especially the few who go over the top and really put on a show!
Whether you enjoy the lights, the tree, making Christmas cookies, decorating wreaths, enjoying candy canes, kissing under the mistletoe, or any of the other Christmas traditions, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialized version of the Christmas season.
You know the one … it starts before Thanksgiving, ends on December 26th, and talks about holidays rather than Christmas.
But it turns out, most of our Christmas traditions have roots in Christianity … even if the secular world won’t acknowledge it.
This week Genuflect looks at the Christian meaning behind all your favorite Christmas traditions and symbols; offers some ideas for building Catholic traditions for your kids, your family, and yourself; and even looks at the Saints who make this season extra special.
And speaking of Catholic traditions, I saw this wonderful idea on Instagram from @CatholicConnect:
I’m doing it … and I thought you might like to join me!
This is our opportunity to celebrate the Catholic way and keep Christ in our Christmas.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
Give a beautiful Rosary to your loved ones for Christmas … or find a new one for yourself to pray with during Advent. Our imported Rosaries are hand made by craftsmen in the Holy Land with stones indigenous to the Bethlehem area. They come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Shop all our Rosaries.
The Ultimate Christian Guide to Christmas Symbols
Every year Christmas becomes more commercialized and secular. But for Catholics, the true meaning of the season is easy to stay focused on if we remember the Christian meaning of the various Christmas symbols. You’re sure to find your favorite Christmas symbols explained among this list of more than 50.
Meaning of Christmas Symbols | Franciscan Penance Library
The Symbolism of The Nativity Scene Figures
On December 1st, in the Italian town of Greccio where St. Francis of Assissi created the first Nativity Scene in 1223, Pope Francis published an apostolic letter titled Admirabile signum. In it he outlines the importance of the Nativity Scene and calls us all to display them in our homes, our workplaces, and the public square. This lovely slideshow highlights the Pope’s description of the spiritual symbolism behind each of the nativity elements.
Saint Nicholas And The Origin of Santa Claus
Sants Claus is everywhere. He’s in front of stores ringing a bell to get donations. He’s at shopping centers having his picture taken with little children. And come December 24th he will be very busy as he travels around the globe delivering his toys to all the good boys and girls. But did you know that the story of Santa Claus actually evolved from a real life Catholic Saint named Saint Nicholas? Here’s the fascinating story of how today’s jolly ole Saint Nick came about.
Saint Nicholas And The Origin of Santa Claus | St. Nicholas Center
4 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Like Catholics
For us Catholics, Christmas is more than just one day. We have the entire Advent Season leading up to December 25th and then beginning Christmas Day, we have the Christmas Octave followed by the official end of the Christmas season on the Baptism of the Lord, observed this year on January 12. While the secular (and even Protestant) world is packing away Christmas on December 26th, we are just getting started with our joyous celebration. Here are four ways to extend your Christmas celebrations, like Catholics.
Celebrating Christmas Like Catholics | Catholic Mom
6 Ways to Wait Until Christmas to Celebrate
Society prematurely begins the Christmas season before Thanksgiving. And it comes to an abrupt end once December 25th is over. But for us Catholics, our Christmas celebration is just beginning on December 25th. It can be difficult to keep your focus and celebration appropriate given all the nose. Here are six ways to hold off celebrating Christmas, despite the pressures from the secular world.
How to Build Your Family’s Christmas Traditions
Dominick Albano has come to realize that traditions are more than just the way Christmas cookies smell or how dough feels in your hands. It’s the way these memories make you feel that are special. With that in mind, he offers several ideas on how to bring meaningful family, faith, and Christmas traditions to your family so your children will have an incredible Christmas experience that they will cherish for years to come.
Building Your Family’s Christmas Traditions | Dynamic Catholic
10 Advent Traditions For Families With Little to no Prep Work
The Advent season has just begun so it’s not too late to plan some special Advent activities for your children to remind them of the true meaning of the season. Here are 10 traditions you can share with your family that require little to no prep work.
10 Meaningful Advent Traditions to Try This Year
If you’d like to go a little deeper in your spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming this year, check out these ideas from Sarah Garone. She goes outside the box with a ‘reverse’ Advent Calendar, an Advent Jar, an Advent Playlist, and 7 other novel ideas that you’ll probably not see anywhere else.
10 Meaningful Advent Traditions to Try This Year | Busted Halo
6 Saints to Introduce to Your Kids This Advent
Advent is a busy time waiting and preparing for the coming of our Lord. It’s easy to overlook the special Saints with feast days during the Advent season. This slideshow features the holy men and women who help bring even more meaning to our Advent season.
Christmas Inspiration on Your Desktop And Phone
Click below to download this week’s free inspirational Christmas wallpaper for your desktop and your phone. Or download one of the previous wallpapers
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