I wish I could remember the person who shared with me the idea of celebrating our children's names, (because I'm sure that I didn't come up with it on my own). I'd really like to thank her for being the one responsible for the reason why I get to eat cake 6 times more per year than the average parent. You should join me, really you should!
So, what was this great idea? It's the celebration of your child's name, through the remembrance of the saint that they share a name with.
Now, if you went through a special phase where, for reasons that you can't remember, naming your child Floyd or Optimus or Tonto sounded like a great idea, don't worry, you can still jump in on this party (who knows, they may become the first saint of their name)!
Over the years, when I've shared this fun way of incorporating the lives of the saints into real family life, some of my friends have asked how to do it if their children aren't named after saints. Simple! Have your child choose a saint that he/she admires. They can "adopt" that saint, if you will, asking him/her to pray for them. Then, when their special saint's feast day comes up on the calendar, it's time to celebrate! (Online resources for feast days and saint bios here and here.)
There are several truly wonderful books written on the lives of the saints for your kids to enjoy, and also a lot of poorly written and illustrated ones too, so be choosy! One of our favorites is Saints: Lives and Illuminations by Ruth Sanderson. She wrote a second volume as well, which is equally inspiring.
We found these three books to be a great way to encourage our boys toward chivalry, courage, generosity, sacrifice, service and perseverance - strong, admirable and virtuous behaviors of the saints!
As the older boys have outgrown these books, they have found a great selection of literary joys that inspire them to follow the path of virtue, including Sir Wyvern Pugilist's Dragon Slayers.
Our boys really look forward to the remembrance of their special saint. This is one tradition that I believe will have valuable, and lasting implications for our sons. They even talking about passing the tradition on to their own kids!
Although I tailor everything we do around here to boys, since we haven't any girls (yet!), I think that this could easily be modified for girls, using the same castle mold and presenting the idea of what it means to be God's princess, discussing the virtues that the female saints heroically lived during their lifetime.
I love this decorating idea for saints whose feast days fall during Christmas!
A really simple and sweet way to decorate the castle for girls.
Good old powdered sugar never disappoints!
Do you have any celebratory traditions that you
enjoy in honor of the saints?
Please share them with us!