I could not simply jump into a list of success stories without honouring our Lady because today is the feast of La Virgen de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1521 – Our Blessed Mother appeared to San Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City. It is a marvelous story to tell children. To prove that he had really seen Mary, when Juan Diego opened his cloak before Bishop Zumárraga on December 12, Castillian roses (which were out of season and not native to Mexico), fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe
- I am thinking of resurrecting a forgotten tradition in a couple of years, when my grandchildren are no longer babies. For years a friend from Argentina, hosted a Our Lady of Guadalupe party, gathering all the children around on the floor as he told the story every year. Right afterwards all the kids rushed to take turns hitting a Spanish style homemade Pinta, stuffed with candy. There are so many wonderful feast days in December that help kids deal with the long, waiting period of Advent.
- This week I have begun another Advent tradition. Not only do I try to clean my heart, I clean my house, thoroughly, top to bottom. One of the kids memories is the smell of Murphy’s Oil soap for wood and old-fashioned wax. Last year, a daughter came out for Christmas early, took a big whiff and smiled,
” Ah!..Smells like a holiday!”, she sighed.
- This year , since half of the ‘kids’ are coming out on Christmas Eve day, I want to have everything set up by the 23rd. When the kids were little, we waited till after the 4th Sunday in Advent to put up the tree, any lights and waited till Christmas Eve to transform the house. But with the kids coming home exhausted from exams and work, I want them to come home to beauty and calm and peace, with all the hustle and bustle finished. I used to be too judgmental about people who set up Christmas lights in Advent; this year I will do them this weekend, at the beginning of the 3rd week in Advent.