December 2021

Blessed feast, may God bless you and keep your family!

We just celebrated Thanksgiving and a birthday, so now our house is ready to switch into Nativity mode! While we’ve been fasting, it doesn’t feel like Christmas to us until after we celebrate the Harvest…

New this month!

December page images are all updated with easy downloads and the new St James the Persian image and story. Saints this month include St Porphyrios, St Nicholas, St James (Persian), St Algae, and a Nativity booklet under the Nativity tryptich… All FREE printables.
The Nativity Fun page has photos of projects we’ve done at home over the years as well as links to buy our coloringbooks (smaller version is $4.00) on amazon

Decorating

-We started with paper chains to add color, and the kids decorated and copied things from our Thankful pumpkin- so it features lots of superheroes but also fantastic thoughts like “God watching over us”. The kids were excited to start making ornaments to bring their cousincs. They were so cute, asking if kids from church were family, so I assured them we’d have enough ornaments for them too.
When I was a kid, we did ornament swaps with our cousins rather than presents. I still have many of them. We’ve been making ornaments with my kids for years, but I wouldn’t say they were keepsakes, now that my kids are a little older I love helping them make beautiful things.
-I got some tiny plaques in the craft deptartments and let my oldest son drill a small hole for a string, instant ornaments!
-I also like to order wooden products from a small company in Maine called Casey’s Wood Products. I’m not affiliated with them, but as a New Englander I like to support local businesses when I can. They get backordered sometimes, but everything comes in good condition, not rough edges or cracks. They offer a huge range of products including unpainted pegdolls.
-Salt Dough ornaments (click for recipe) are in our plans as two separate activities- making them and then painting them. But if your kids are little, it could make sense for you to make the shapes one night and then decorate them with the kids… Plan what will work for your home.

Fasting

We all have our favorite fasting groups, websites and books so I won’t overload you links but one thing we did (sort of by accident) was include the kids in a fasting menu master list. We awere all sitting at the table and my husband and I started making a list of the fasting foods we like and the kids just joined in. They added things like cheese pizza and chinese foods, fish sticks and hummus- lots and lots of hummus!
Make a plan you can stick to for each week. I find that if I have a plan, I don’t end up “cheating” or forgetting.
I find Fasting as a Family helpful, we also eat a lot of asian food- frozen vegetables with a bottle sauce and a pot of rice. A new favorite this fast is hummus with pickled vegetables as a buffet on the table with fresh bread or crackers.
To create a specific plan, talk with your priest for guidance.

Services

Attending weekday services may not be practical but there are so many options online, a blessing from Covid is all the livestreaming or youtube videos. At our house we substitute church music for extra television in the afternoons. Its been great timing to cut back on tv and sets a nice mood for evenings and homework.

Mama Moment (blessing)

I found myself lacking energy and motivation, for 2-3 years I thought it was normal motherhood since my kids were not regularly sleeping through the night. I felt like I was pushing myself through the day, putting on my happy face and drinking lots of coffee. But I always seemed anxious and short tempered, I was not enjoying day to day life. I tried changing my diet, forcing myself to exercise, changing my routine, and extra prayer… nothing was helping and then I noticed that I couldn’t fall asleep for hours. I would fall asleep after midnight, laying in bed for 2-3 hours. Inspired by the simple words “Make small and purposeful changes” from the Filled with Less ladies, I tried a couple of “sleep” remedies.
I’ve now been taking Magnesium for over a month. I feel ten years younger! My house is starting to run differently. Things I accepted as normal are gone (being cold all the time, afternoon lull in energy…) and my house is running more smoothly than it has for like 3 years… I’m not saying go out and buy magnesium, I wanted to share my own blessing of restored health.
Thank God that it wasn’t anything serious, but even my “small” issue affected my entire household and my relationship with my small kids. Having better sleep means SO much as a mom that I thought it was important to put this out there for you. I pray that this will help someone enjoy their nativity with a more peaceful and joyful heart.

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