Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celebrating Lent with Children: A guide for the lazy and forgetful

     I'm taking the integration of Catholic customs a little bit slow around the house.  Now, I love holidays and traditions and little parties and stuff, and believe me, I have all kinds of celebrations all planned out to execute someday, but the kids are still little, and I barely have the brain space to remember what day of the week it is, let alone where we are in the ecumenical calendar.  So, while some of our "celebrations" essentially amounted to discussing what Amani did in preschool, we have plenty of time to get fancy later.

Lent, blah, blah..yay! Pancakes!
     Fat Tuesday was met with a lot of enthusiasm.  We were babysitting for a friend that day, so her two little ones got to celebrate with us. We did it full affect: chocolate-chip pancakes with syrup.  One year we did some ham and beans in honor of Mardi Gras, and maybe one year we'll do  a king cake, but I thought pancakes were enough this year.  I tried to explain that Lent was a time without of treats, so we were having lots of treats now, but I'm not sure how much that sank in; pancakes can be very distracting.

     We didn't do Ash Wednesday.  I know. I know.  Ash Wednesday is a big one Catholic-wise: official start of Lent: reflection, remembering death, sin; heavy heavy stuff.  We just didn't get to it this year.  Next year we'll do something.

We did do other things for Lent though.  I checked out "The Easter Collection" from the library and read a few stories.  It's a nice book with lovely illustrations.  Most of the stories were a little above Amani's level, but she enjoyed looking at the pictures and liked story about the children waiting for a man named Easter.  I pushed the words "sacrifice" big time around the house, reminding everybody that that Jesus scarified for us.  And we made pretzels, noting how they look like crossed praying arms.

See, Ash Wenesday: book and carbohydrates.  That's what it takes around here.

So now we are in Holy Week, and while we are not batting one hundred celebration-wise, (Can I spin watching Paw Patrol in pajamas as a traditional Palm Sunday celebration?) I've still got some stuff we can get to.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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