Sunday, December 1, 2013

Keep Christ in Christmas Activities With a Teenager

"I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by

Tina at Truly Rich Mom
Birgit at Designs By Birgit

Since I am a mom of a teenager, I need to keep our activities age appropriate so he can grow in a more meaningful way with Our Lord. 
 So, the fun crafts and activities that I enjoy, are not so fun for him any longer.

So, what does a mom who has a teenager do?

Include him in the adult activities of our church.

I'm fortunate to belong to a diverse parish which has many prayer and worship activities 
in a few cultures.

Here is what we will be doing:

We will join in the "Caminata Rosario" walking rosary for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

We will participate in our Christmas Novena evening services. 
 For nine days, we will go to evening prayer service hosted by our different ministry groups. 
 Some nights it will be conducted in English, other nights it will be in Spanish, 
some nights in Tagalog and others in Polish.

We will go to our Penance Service.

We will go to our Parish Christmas Concert.

One evening, we will attend Simbang Gabi

and the next evening ~ Las Posadas.

We will have a busy week of faith and culture enriching activities to prepare for the birth of Jesus.

May God bless my son and draw him closer to him, 
as he participates and walks with the members of our parish.

"I’m participating in the KEEP CHRIST in CHRISTMAS Blog Link-Up 2013

sponsored by the Catholic Bloggers Network.

Be sure to visit as many links as possible, listed at the bottom of this post.

I would love to hear of other ideas on how to have a meaningful Advent for teenagers.

Here are the others who have joined up in the Keep Christ in Christmas Linkup.  Please pop over and visit them as you can.  I've learned a lot of great teaching tools by visiting the bloggers below.

Equipping Catholic Families: Keep Christ in Christmas

Simply Homeschool Living Advent Series 12/1 - 12/25

Fifth of Five Keeping Christ in Christmas - Blog Link-up 2013

Coffee Moments with Sam The Light of Hope

Hand-Maid With Love: CHRISTmas Presence: Keep Christ in Christmas 2013 Edition

Open Window Making hay while the Advent wreath shines

Faith Filled Freebies: Keep Christ in Christmas

Written by the Finger of God: Not Christmas as Usual

On the Way Home: Keep Christ in Christmas

Sue Elvis Writes: Bring Christ to Others

Mommy Bares All Why Celebrate Christmas Even After #YolandaPH

Canadian Catholic Mom Keeping The Little Ones Focused: An Advent Link-Up

Mountain of Grace Homeschooling Keep Christ in Christmas

Em’s Estuary: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Happy Little Homemaker: December Devotion: Immaculate Conception

Adoro Ergo Sum: How We Keep Christ in Christmas O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Home to 4 Kiddos Keep Christ in Christmas

Embedded Faith Boldly Be the Christ in Christmas

City Girl, Country Home Emmanuel Is With Us. Are we WITH HIM?

Journey to Wisdom: Trusting in your Awkward Fiats

Joy of Nine9 Waiting in Joyful Expectation Like a Child

Splendor in the Home Ideas For Keeping Advent and Christmas Holy

Training Happy Hearts 10 Ways to Celebrate the New Liturgical Year

A Catholic Life Advent: The Beginning of the Liturgical Year & Source of Rich Meditations

Designs by Birgit: Elf on a Shelf and Santa Claus

Catholic Inspired: Faith-Centered Family Christmas

A Slice of Smith Life: How we keep Christ in Christmas

Catholic All Year: Three Reasons I love Advent

Mary the Defender: Christmas The Battle Begins

Truly Rich Mom: Keep Christ in Christmas

Day By Day in Our World: 40 Days Seeking Him and Keeping Christ in Christmas

Diapers and Drivel: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Raising Soldiers 4 Christ: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Rosary Mom Keep Christ In Christmas With A Teenager

Tercets: Keeping Christ in Christmas: Join Church Ministries

Campfires and Cleats How We Keep Christ in Christmas

Life Unabridged: Celebrating the Fullness of the Advent and Christmas Season

Homeschooling With Joy Keeping Christ in Christmas

Mrs Domestic Bliss Gingerbread Nativity

The Chic Traveller Keeping Christ in Christmas

California to Korea Keeping Christ in Christmas

Dominique's Desk Keeping Christ in Christmas

Our ABC Life: An Advent Update

Journey Living: Anno Domini

The Road to Rome: Advent Prayer and Reflection Resources

Life of Fortunate Chances: Keeping Christ in Christmas

Quidquid Est, Est!: Reblog: Advent Posts

Advent Blessings,



  1. Noreen, great post! I have two teenage boys right now and was pondering how to make Advent meaningful to them. Thank you! : )

    1. Hi Stephanie, it is a new perspective on Advent since teenagers reason, question and analyze at a more adult level than young children. Maybe it's due to having years of science under their belts :).

  2. Yes, as they grow up, the participation changes. Sounds like you have it wonderfully worked out! Wishing you and yours a blessed Advent!

    1. Thank you Birgit for your kind words but there is much room for improvement on making Advent more meaningful for my family this year.

  3. I've already noticed how my baby has become a little girl (so sad) so this is great advice for the future.

    1. Children do grow up incredibly fast. It's like a blur and when I think of my son's early years, I do miss them! But there is much to appreciate in his teenage years. I'll be one sad momma when he eventually moves out!

  4. We attend Simbang Gabi too. It's a good way to bond with the family and keep Christ in our hearts. Thanks for this post!

    1. It's a beautiful and vibrant celebration that we've been blessed to be able to participate in.

  5. If your teen's willing, you could do little family reflections on prophecies of the coming Messiah or of Patristic writings. Even more recent homilies might be good.

    1. Thanks for your ideas Matthew and he would be willing. May want to over analyze it but he would certainly be willing to discuss it.

  6. Love these ideas! I have two teenagers so these are wonderful! Some of these things are new to me {I am a new Catholic so I haven't heard of some of them}, so I'll be checking them out! :)

    1. Hi Chelsey, hopefully either your church or a nearby one has these special celebrations. It's a powerful and meaningful way to "step into another culture" for an evening and celebrate Advent. Welcome home to the Catholic Church!

  7. Very interesting ideas! I'm sure your son will have a very meaningful Advent.

    1. I pray that he does Nathan and your family too.

  8. Hi Noreen! Well your great post is the first one I've seen focusing on Advent with teens! Thank you for sharing all the great ways you are using to deepen your teen's Advent and spiritual journey. My oldest is 13 and then I have young ones too so I need to work on building my teen's spiritual life since I focus alot on the little ones :) Have a blessed Advent!

    1. It's more fun to focus on the little ones. My son is an analyzer and wants to reason things out and struggles a bit at accepting things without physical evidence. He makes me think before I respond :)

  9. Is the Simbang Gabi the same as a Rorate Mass?

    1. I do think they stem from the same tradition. Both are votive Masses for our Blessed Mother with Simbang Gabi coming from the Philippines and Rorate Mass coming from Poland. I've never gone to a Rorate Mass and would like to experience it one day.

  10. these are all good ideas. I teach junior high religious ed and would love to find some ideas appropriate for their age. unfortunately as great as a lot of yours are they can't really be completed within a 1.5 hour class.

    1. No certainly not, the ones I listed are after hours. I did ask my son, who is in eighth grade, what they're doing special for Advent and he said the entire school comes out into the hallways at 12:15pm for special prayer services.

  11. Our parish is a hosting spot for Simbang Gabi every year. I took my eldest a few years back. It was interesting, but he hated how crowded it was for dinner afterwards (as our nave can hold 1100 people, but the narthex which is used for potlucks can only hold around 200!)

    When we lived in Maryland, we were blessed to have a Catholic homeschool group which celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe including a walking rosary through the town. The older boys in the group took turns holding her image at the front of the line while some of us moms focused on keeping the younger kids in the group. Such fun times!

    1. Lol...I agree the Simbang Gabi Mass is overcrowded as well as the dinner following! Worth the wait though. We had a Filipino healing priest come to our church a couple of months ago. He travels throughout the US mostly and you would have thought we was a rock star the way the people came to see him. We had to have our local police present to direct traffic. Estimated over 1300 people came to see him. It was amazing.

  12. Hi Noreen! I've been looking forward to reading this since I have 2, almost 3 teens! But I've been going down my FF blog list in order so I don't miss any!! :-) I love all your ideas and it sounds like you have a wonderful active parish! Our parish is not organized at all! We finally had a picnic this past summer and I was shocked at that! No one in the parish gets involved! I'd love to organize some things, but my family comes first and I just don't have the time to do all that. I hope to start some things in a few years when my kids are older. (My youngest is still only 2 and he is a handful!!! ) Thanks for a few future ideas!! Hope you and your family have a blessed Advent and Christmas season! (((HUGS)))

  13. your christmas activities ideas are very nice, i will surely implement some of them.