Friday, December 5, 2008

Catholic Christmas Traditions Rekindled! (A Round Robin for Catholic Blogs)

Keeping It Catholic (KIC) has initated our Catholic Christmas Traditions Rekindled! (A Round Robin for Catholic Blogs)! It informally began back in 1999, with KIC list members sharing Christmas traditions on our email list. In this, our 12th year on the Net, we renew it and extend the invitation to all Catholic visitors, blog-owners and websites (with appropriate content, of course) so we may encourage each other to "Keep It Catholic at Christmas" and throughout the true Christmas season, which ends February 2. And KIC is sharing "theme" ideas for those who join our "round robin"!

So - please join our Catholic Christmas Traditions Rekindled! (A Round-Robin for Catholic Blogs) Share with us your family's Catholic Christmas Traditions for our 'ongoing' 2008-early 2009 KEEPING IT CATHOLIC AT CHRISTMAS digital newsletter, which will be freely sent throughout the entire traditional Christmas season to our entire Keeping It Catholic Email List and also posted here on Keeping It Catholic - the Blog!

---If you're a blog or list reader, just email me with your traditions and I'll be happy to add them to the Keeping It Catholic at Christmas installments at the appropriate time.

---If you're a Catholic blog-writer and would like to join, please create a section on your blog called Catholic Christmas Traditions Rekindled! (This is where you'll list other Catholic blogs who belong to our Round Robin). List Keeping It Catholic - the Blog! and keep it at the top of your list. Also copy and paste this page (along with this page's link) so others will know about and join. Then email me about your posts that match our following themes. Your blog must, of course, be faithfully Catholic, with no inappropriate content. If your blog fits the requirements, the the KIC Blog will link back to you!

The upcoming themes and deadline dates (listed below) are for email submissions to our bi-weekly "Keeping it Catholic at Christmas" digital installments. Catholic blog owners who join Catholic Christmas Traditions Rekindled will find it helpful as they write articles for collective "Round Robin" themes! (Of course, the deadline dates for submissions don't apply for Catholic blog writers who will simply alert me by email about their new articles so I can list them on this blog.)

Deadline Date for the 1st (Email) Installment:
Today through Monday, December 15, 2008 - Share Catholic traditions about the Season of Advent (the season of the "absence of Jesus," of anticipation, abstinence and penance, as we spiritually prepare anew for the coming of Jesus, the Light of the World), "Christmastide" which begins Christmas Eve (Vigil of the Nativity), Midnight Mass, Feast of the Nativity (Christmas, holy day of obligation); Traditional recipes for early Christmas morning "breaking-the-fast" recipes; St. Stephan (first Catholic martyr, December 26); St. John the Beloved Apostle (December 27), the Holy Innocents (December 28); St. Thomas of Canterbury, Bishop and Martyr (December 29), Eve of the Nativity Octave (December 31), Octave of the Nativity (January 1, holy day of obligation) and The Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6). Installment is set for digital publication during the December 20-21 weekend.

Deadline Date for 2nd (Email) Installment:
From December 16th through Monday, December 29, 2008 - Share more Catholic traditions about the Epiphany, the "ferial" days, the Feast of the Holy Family (first Sunday after the Epiphany) and the Baptism of the Lord (January 13), and the end of Christmastide (8 days after the Epiphany). The first few weeks of January are usually a quiet month in which many people feel "let down" after the holidays. In reality, these quieter days are perfect for prayer, spiritual reading and meditation because Jesus is the reason for every season - and the Christmas season is still in effect all through January and early February! Installment is set for digital publication during the January 3-4 weekend.

Deadline Date for 3rd (Email) Installment:
From December 30 through Monday, January 5, 2009 - The perfect time to share traditions about the last few weeks of the Christmas season, which concludes with Candlemas (Purification of the Virgin and The Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple) on February 2nd. Themes are Christ the Light of the World, a revelation to the Gentiles, the glory of His people, Israel and the the humble obedience of the Virgin Mother of God. Installment is set for digital publication during the January 17-18 weekend.

Deadline Date for 4th (Email) Installment:

From Epiphany through Monday, January 19, 2009 - A last chance to share Candlemas traditions - as well as Church traditions for Septuagesima and Lent (this year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 25)! Theme: Glory, Praise and Honor to Thee, O Christ the King! Installment is set for digital publication during the January 31st-February 1 weekend.


Privately email me to share your CATHOLIC family Christmas traditions, according to the deadline dates and themes listed above. Unless you request otherwise, I'll include your name with your anecdote (which can be brief or long, your choice!). If you prefer a first name and last initial, that's fine, too. (No anonymous submissions please. They will not be published.) In general, our first theme might be summed up as follows:

- Beautiful tips for the holy, penitential and anticipatory season of Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, January 1st

- Fast and abstinence recipes (and for those of you who have KIC's "Keepsake Collection of Recipes," our downloadable ebook, don't forget to check "Keepsake" to further assist you!)

-'Breaking the fast' on Christmas Day recipes

- How you "Keep Christ in Christmas" during the entire liturgical season (for example, did you know that - in the centuries-old liturgical calendar - the Christmas season ends on Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, on February 2? That is exactly "40 days" from Christmas Day! Sadly, cutting short the Holy Season of Christmas is one of the innovations of our own era).

- Anything else appropriate for the Catholic category of "Keeping Christ in Christmas."

Some examples from past submissions:

-One that comes to mind is the family that bakes a Christmas "birthday" cake for the Baby Jesus, singing a birthday song to the Infant Jesus - all before opening presents on Christmas day.

-Another is the family who always covers the creche with cotton and straw, uncovering it when the family returns from Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. (That's what we've always done, too!)

-Yet another couple said they give their children a specific number of gifts per season - three, to be exact, as Jesus Himself received three gifts from the Wisemen.

-Another celebrates St. Nicholas Day in early December; for those with an Italian background, they celebrate the day of "la Befana" on the Epiphany. (My dad, now passed from this world 36 years ago, told me about "le Befana.")

As you can see, sharing your tradition needn't be a long letter (if that sort of thing inhibits your from writing!)...just a few lines to share what you do to "Keep Christ in Christmas." Of course, longer submissions are very welcome!

Remember: Our goal is to encourage each other to "Keep it Catholic at Christmas"!

A most blessed Advent to you and yours,
Marianna Bartold, Keeping It Catholic

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