Saturday, March 23, 2013

An Impromptu St. Joseph's Day Tea and Play Date

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 Last Sunday, we set the table for our friends to come join us for a St. Patrick's Day liturgical tea and play date, only to discover that they could not come.

So, we prayed, feasted and enjoyed without them.

Then, on Monday, as the children got in some sensory calming swinging after a morning filled with appointments, my cell phone rang.

It was our friends, wondering what we were doing for St. Joseph's feast day, since they had missed sharing St. Patrick's day with us.

"Um, St. Joseph's Day?"  I responded.  I had gotten so caught up in St. Patrick's day and then busy with our Monday appointments and lessons that I had forgotten the following day was St. Joseph's Day.

"I'm not sure yet."  I decided.  "But, you're welcome to come over."

And so it was that my intentions for the remainder of Monday were hijacked by the excitement of planning a rather impromptu St. Joseph tea and play date for us all.

I have been rather into the idea of making our home one of hospitality despite it being one of mess and clutter, so the idea of living that intention superseded other plans for the afternoon and carried on into Monday morning.

As I went about chores, I thought about what we might be able to feast upon.  When the children allowed, I searched for St. Joseph and carpentry printables online.  For a lesson-time tie-in, I created a short St. Joseph-related prayer for handwriting/copywork and prepared some measuring activities.  As Family Work Time, we switched out the St. Patrick's day toys and activities that we had in our living room for construction theme ones in honor of St. Joseph's occupation.  And, of course, we did more than one Tidy Time!

Was it ever worth it!  What a delightful afternoon with our friends on Tuesday!

My friend Karen came over with her two youngest children, two beautiful statues of Joseph to decorate our table with and a heart for celebration.  Greeting her and her smiling kiddoes, were Luke, Nina, Jack, me and the impromptu St. Joseph's table we had jerry-rigged using a foot stool, a square basket and a small box for layers, with pillow cases and table cloths to disguise them.  (No one said our table had to be perfect.  Just pleasing to us and our guests, which it was!)

Afternoon tea fare included:

  • a plate of cut fruit to remind us that saying "yes" to God and being obedient like Joseph brings much fruit into our lives.

  • a bowl of grapes, because I have heard they are often on "real" St. Joseph's Day tables and as well as a small plate with a simple "cross" of grapes that Nina made, which she said was to remind us of the three persons in the Holy Trinity, the three persons in Jesus' earthly family and the three times that Joseph was visited by the angels.  (Wow!)

  •  some hummus and veggie sticks, to round out the food and, with imagination, to represent, again, Joseph's staff flowering with lilies.

Before digging into it all, the children impressed  Karen and me with their knowledge about Joseph.  Then, we listened to the St. Joseph song on Sing Bible Prayer Songs and prayed the St. Joseph prayer from Prayers to the Saint. My friend's youngest son also added the sweetest personal prayer.

After polishing most of the food off, the children enjoyed playing carpenter in the living room... well as doing playdough carpentry with with golf-tee nails, hammers and saws at the kitchen table.

My friend's daughter, with Nina and Jack as "helpers" rose toy the challenge of putting printouts of Holy Hero's The Story of St. Joseph coloring book in the hallway in a logical order, and, then, narrating the chronology of Joseph's life.

And, of course, there was coloring!

Karen told me that she had been expecting just a bite to eat and a story and that her kids were never going to want to celebrate a feast day without me again.  That's okay by me!  I have Karen to thank for getting me re-inspired to celebrate St. Joseph's day in the first place.  And, her and her kids are awesome people to pray and play with.

In fact, we found ourselves over their house for an impromptu visit on Friday to visit their new baby chicks...

Then, we snuggled on their couch to read Joseph's Story, which is a favorite St. Joseph's day book of mine, which I had not been able to find on Tuesday.


Now, time to stop all the feasting and to get back to fasting, as we enter Holy Week.

May your Holy Week be richly blessed!


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1 comment:

Karen said...

And I was right! My children would prefer to do all celebrations with you at your house since you have such great stuff to do and play with! (and you are way more fun than I!)

Thank you for allowing us to join you in the celebration for St Joseph - we loved the time together and Lucas and Julianne had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

you are the best!



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