Family traditions are key for a couple reasons:
1. They bind the family together.
2. They create memories.
3. They bring a tangibility to the faith.
When I was a Protestant, we had very few family traditions. We had traditions on Christmas morning and Easter and that was about it. There isn't much else that the Protestant liturgical calendar celebrates. When we converted, we made the Biffert Liturgical Calendar: in it we have a list of how we celebrate the year with both Catholic traditions, cultural, ethnic and family.
The Year begins with Advent:
1. Our Advent traditions begin with the Advent Sundays. The first Sunday of Advent we eat dinner to the light of one candle lit in the Advent wreath. The second Sunday of Advent we eat dinner to the light of the second and so forth. It symbolizes the darkness the world was in before Jesus came.
2. For each Sunday of Advent, we invite guests over dinner wherein we enjoy a great candlelit meal and wine deep into the evening.
3. As Advent is a penitential time, we post (by the toilets) lists of ways that the children can make sacrifices throughout the day.
4. There are a few feast days that land in Advent that
we make sure to celebrate:
Dec. 6th: St. Nick - on the Eve thereof, the children
put their boots outside and in the morning they are
filled with treats!
Dec. 13th: St. Lucy - on the morning of this feast, our
oldest daughter makes breakfast for the family.
She dresses in white with a red sash and tells the younger ones the story of Lucy's martyrdom.
Dec. 12th: Our Lady of Guadalupe - on this great feast
day of our Holy Mother, we make Mexican food for
dinner and retell the story once again.
5. Finally, in the last week of Advent, we head out and
hunt for and chop down our Christmas tree. We
decorate it on Christmas Eve day, but don't turn on the
lights until Christmas Eve proper.
More coming soon ...