In the secular, consumerist culture in which we live, I would think most people know the 12 Days of Christmas actually began yesterday, as the First Day of Christmas. I would think retailers would take advantage of Christmas extending past Christmas Day, but instead, they seem to build up to Christmas, and then forget Christmas extends twelve days!
Happy Second Day of Christmas!
This year, the Catholic Women Blogging Network (CWBN) Blog Hop encouraged bloggers to write about how we are “Putting Christ in Christmas.” Several bloggers had written about having a Birthday Cake for Jesus, and singing “Happy Birthday,” a tradition which seemed a little odd to me a few years back; however, this year, the idea stuck with me, since I realized we spent 4 weeks preceding Christmas, preparing for His birthday. In an effort to make the celebration of Christmas truly about the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, we added little elements to this year’s celebration.
We started out by attending the Christmas Vigil on Christmas Eve – this was a Children’s Mass, with a Children’s pageant before the Mass, and then a bilingual English/Spanish Mass.
I’m going to link up with A Blog for My Mom, and her My Sunday Best series, for this post. We were all dressed in our finest for Mass.
While my son was interested in taking family pictures, the baby was not interested at all…
However, I got a couple candid shots of Little Miss, dressed in her Christmas finest! The dress was a gift to us, along with the hand-knitted sweater. This entire outfit was coordinated to go together from the time we received the knitted sweater and dress, when my daughter was two months old! It has sat, waiting to be used for her first Christmas, for almost an entire year! The black tights and the red shoes ($22.99 at Babies R Us) are the only thing we needed to add to the outfit – and, those shoes, while a splurge, have become my daughter’s favorite pair of shoes!
Christmas Day/The First Day of Christmas:
After the time spent opening presents first thing in the morning, we had our large meal for the day, for lunch – Kalua Pork, rice, and broccoli. Then, my husband and son played with my son’s spoils from Santa, while Little Miss (fighting a cold) and I had a nap.
I wanted a split between secular Christmas and devotional Christmas. Therefore, in the late afternoon, my son placed Baby Jesus in the Manger, and Christmas evening, we began a new Christmas tradition by celebrating with a cake and Happy Birthday song.
The blogger at Everyday Catholic had written in her post, “A Birthday Cake for Jesus,” about making a chocolate cake and using white frosting – the chocolate cake symbolized the sins we make when we live our life; the white frosting symbolized the cleanliness Jesus brings – to our lives and souls. I decided to change things up just a little, and instead we had this for our Baby Jesus Birthday Party:
We used white cake, with some white frosting between the layers, to symbolize the internal transformation Jesus makes on our soul – something you don’t necessarily see from the the outside, but is there. The outside of the cake, what we show the world, was the chocolate frosting, denoting our sins – how they appear as dirt on our clean soul underneath. The symbolism was lost on my son, but the cake was a hit – for all of us in the family!
Finally, we used the Advent wreath as the birthday candles – lighting the Christ candle for this week’s closure of the Advent celebration. After singing Happy Birthday, my son had the honor of blowing out the candles.
All in all, I would say we were successful in Keeping Christ at the Center of our first day of Christmas celebration! Now, onward and upward to the rest of the 11 days of celebration!
Having rounded out The Zelie Group Advent Photo Challenge this past week, they have decided to extend to a Photo Challenge for the Real 12 Days of Christmas. Check out their posts on IG, FB, and Twitter, and feel free to join in! Just be sure to use any of the tags to ensure we don’t miss your fabulous pictorial creativity:
How did you celebrate Christmas this year? Any traditional favorites?