Novena, Christmas Creche, Homemade Nativities

By Blogger Tracy Bua Smith

Starting November 29th, I am joining over 6,000 Catholics to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena!

Before I encourage others to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena beginning today, Nov. 29, HERE is information that answers “What are Novenas?”

I’m looking forward to the answered prayers from this amazing saint! With so many faithful Catholics around the world praying this novena, I thought I’d invite others to join too!

Do you have any special petitions to bring to Mary?

You can sign up for handy email reminders to get the the novena prayers here: Immaculate Conception Novena.

Let’s get as many as we can to pray this novena together for the Immaculate Conception!

Tis the season to see Nativity scenes displayed in homes, yards, businesses, Christmas cards, etc. But, do you know the history behind the Nativity Scene or Creche (French)? Believe it or not, the origin of the Christmas Creche dates back to the 1200s with St. Francis of Assisi.

One tradition our family does during the holy season of Advent is to prepare a soft bed/manger for Baby Jesus. I saw this idea on Holy Heroes Advent Adventure and thought this would be a fun and simple way to have my children prepare their hearts and souls for the true meaning of the Advent/Christmas season. So at the beginning of Advent we start with an empty manger (empty basket) and have a bowl full of “hay” (yellow yarn pieces).

Then as my children make sacrifices for family and friends (doing their chores without complaining, helping a sibling with school work, doing a kind deed for a friend, etc), they can put a piece of yarn in the basket. So by the end of the Advent season, the basket will be filled with yarn for a soft bed for Baby Jesus (at least that is the goal 🙂 )

On Christmas morning, we will place Jesus in our soft manger built with love and sacrifices and display Him under our Christmas tree.

I love this quote from the article, St. Francis and the Christmas Creche by Fr. William Saunders :

“Although the story is long old, the message is clear for us. Our own Nativity scenes which rest under our Christmas trees are a visible reminder of that night when our Savior was born. May we never forget to see in our hearts the little Babe of Bethlehem, who came to save us from sin. We must never forget that the wood of the manger that held Him so securely would one day give way to the wood of the cross. May we too embrace Him with all of our love as did St. Francis.”

Read more about Catholic family home life at Tracy Smith’s blog A Slice of Smith Life.

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