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Celebrating the Christmas Season

Mary Malloy, Senior Editor for RCL Benziger

Christmas dinner at Grandma Hovey’s – what could be better? The small kitchen in her modest-sized home was no deterrent to preparing a feast for the twelve of us. She would whistle and sing as she whipped up mashed potatoes, made the gravy, checked on the turkey, and prepared the cranberry relish.

But I had the best job of all. Grandma trusted me to set the table – not with paper plates and plastic silverware - but with the Spode Christmas dishes, the crystal glasses, the silver, and cloth napkins. Twelve places, count them, dressed in beauty. Each time I set the table for family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and others who need a touch of joy and celebration, I think of Grandma and our annual ritual, our special time together.

This Christmas season celebrate the rituals and traditions that build not only wonderful memories, but also deep connections to our faith tradition and to the Lord of love. To help you do this in the classroom and to help encourage this at home, RCL Benziger is pleased to offer reproducible resources that highlight the Church’s way of celebrating the Christmas season.

Help children and youth create a celebration pack of prayers and activities for use in the home. Refer to Celebrating the Christmas Season for suggestions on how to do so. Also refer to Celebrating the Christmas Season for a list of the feasts and solemnities of the season, as well as the Saints whose stories inspire us on our way. Sing the suggested carols in celebration of the ways in which they helped spread the Good News over all the earth!

The Blessing of the Christmas Tree offers a simple ritual that can be used in the classroom or in the home. You may wish to provide the students with supplies for creating the special ornament to be used in the blessing.

The remaining three suggested activities, though designed for use in the home, may also be easily adapted for use in the classroom. They are: The Blessing of the Family Nativity Set; Prayer for the New Year; and The Blessing of the Home on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

Each of these resources invites us to be mindful of what is at the heart of the meals, the travels, the gifts, the lights, the carols, and the merrymaking. They encourage us to celebrate not just a day, but a season of ritual, prayer, celebration, and song.

Mary Malloy is a Senior Editor for RCL Benziger.