How will the Nativity Fast come alive in your home?

The Nativity Fast is almost here! Though we are still reeling from getting back-to-school and welcoming Fall, the calendar won’t wait for us to catch up. Every year when Christmas approaches, it is important for parents to think about how we’ll lead the household this year. Too often, the people around us are swept up in shopping and decorating — not that there’s anything wrong with that, but famously, Christ often gets…

Merry Christmas!

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be Orthodox in America this December and it’s kind of making me chuckle. Forgive me, but we’re a little bipolar. Not in the medical sense, but insofar as we are vacillating between two states of mind, two cultures — you might say we are caught between Nativity and Christmas! I wouldn’t wish you a blessed Nativity today, I won’t call out, ‘Christ is born!’…

Nativity & the Solidarity of Mankind

If you are contemplating Jesse trees or lessons for an Advent countdown during the upcoming Nativity fast, this 2014 podcast episode might be of interest to you. It’s time for us to lead our children to the great feast of the Nativity of Christ, Christmas. Many families will use the Jesse Tree to bring the 40-day Nativity fast to life for their kids. Search ‘Orthodox Jesse Tree’ online, or check out my 2014…

The Nativity Fast

This text was originally posted as a Raising Saints podcast episode in 2012. It’s November, and that means that it’s time to get ready for the Nativity Lent, the Advent Fast. For Orthodox Christians living in America, this is a very important fast, because in this society, we really need it. In our American culture, we love to pre-celebrate our holidays, especially Christmas.  Many stores are already pressing you to purchase your Christmas…

Living the Nativity in our Little Churches

    I just returned from Holy Trinity Cathedral in Portland, where I spoke with some lovely parents about how we live the Nativity Fast, how we help our children prepare their hearts for Christmas. Think of the story of His birth: When Herod called for the census, Joseph and Mary had no choice but to head for Bethlehem to be counted. Mary was large and pregnant, and would be giving birth soon. They…

The Nativity Fast!

The Nativity Fast begins soon (even sooner on the New Calendar) and it’s time to think about how we will lead our families in this time of preparation for Christ’s Nativity. When we celebrate the feasts of the Church, we Orthodox do not simply note the anniversary of an event, but we enter into it — our earthly timeline gives way to the eternal, and we simply step into the Nativity. So…