Nativity of The Lord

During Advent’s four weeks of preparation for Christmas, it is important for ManHusbandDads to guide those God entrusts to them in spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. Here are some recommended activities a ManHusbandDad can do to help his loved one properly prepare for Christmas:

  1. Have your own Advent wreath in your home, and light the candles throughout the weeks. Pick some of your favorite prayers, and say them as you light the candles.
  2. Pray the rosary together throughout the four weeks.
  3. Read Scripture, such as the Psalms, or the daily readings for Mass throughout the four weeks.
  4. Pray the Divine Office (a.k.a., the“Liturgy of the Hours”) throughout the four weeks.
  5. Purchase or make a Jesse Tree, and decorate the tree with the appropriate ornaments as a countdown to Christmas, throughout the 24 days in December.
  6. Display the Nativity set. If you wish, do not display any of the characters until Christmas Eve. Even the Wise Men (a.k.a.,the Three Kings) can be absent until January 6. Since the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus is when the Christmas season actually ends, the Nativity scene could remain displayed until the Feast is concluded.
  7. Decorate the Christmas tree on the liturgical cycles, such as the first Sunday of Advent. If you want, don’t take it down until the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. More time with the tree!
  8. Put out your outdoor Christmas lights and other Christmas decorations; display them with pride! Not too early, but not too late. Try to keep out the Christmas decorations until the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. If your neighbors ask about it, what a great evangelization opportunity!
  9. Say “ Merry Christmas” with pride when writing Christmas cards to family members and friends, and when talking to people in public. The secular world is trying to delete the birth of Jesus Christ as the true meaning of Christmas, so as a Christian, don’t be afraid to keep “Christ in Christmas”. And say it throughout the Christmas Season until the Baptism of Jesus.
  10. Santa Claus is a big tradition with the celebration of Christmas. It is important to remind children that Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas, and that the feast day for the real Santa Claus is December6. Santa works for Jesus and is putting together Christ’s birthday party. Checkout the St. Nicholas Centre for more info!
  11. Watch a variety of Christmas movies as a family!Although there are many Christmas movies out there, not every Christmas movie embodies the true meaning of Christmas. Many Christmas movies today, have a superficial message. It is good to have a balance in the Christmas movies a family watches, with some being religious themed, and others being secular. I have personally found that the Hallmark Channel does an excellent job in creating a balance between the secular and religious themes in Christmas.
  12. Try to remind the family that the feast day for Christmas is the 25th, and as tempting as it is to pig out, try to remember that the 24th is still a penitential day. For example, part of my ethnic heritage is Hungarian, a quasi-Eastern European culture. In the Eastern Rites of our Catholic faith, many of them abstain from meat on Christmas Eve, and eat vegetarian and seafood dishes, as a form of penance until Christmas Day. In my family we abstain from eating meat until after the Christmas Eve Mass. It’s important to uphold your family traditions, but remain penitential. For example, if your family goes to the Christmas Eve Children’s mass, think about abstaining from meat until after you return home from mass and then have a feast for celebration!
  13. On Christmas Day, have a special dessert, and sing happy birthday to Jesus. It is important for children to remember that Christmas Day is more special than getting presents: It’s about the birth of Jesus Christ. A ManHusbandDad should make sure that his family understands that the most important aspect in Christmas is going to Mass to worship and adore the Child Jesus. A Catholic must always be obedient to the holy days of obligation, which Christmas is one of these important days. We ManHusbandDads need to make sure that our family does not just go to Mass on either the 24thor the 25th of December because they have to, but because they want to be with Jesus at this most wonderful time of the year!

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