Saint on the Paint

Nativity Fast is coming up, starting on Saturday (for those of us on the New Calendar).  Now that my children are almost grown, or grown, and far too old for things like this, my head is full of ideas of things that would be so much fun for a mama with younger children to do with them at this time of year. 

I also made Jesse Tree ornaments when my kids were way too old, so I missed the Jesse Tree boat as well. 

But, if keeping up with the Nativity Fast and doing Jesse Tree with your kids every day from now until Christmas doesn't add enough holiday cheer (insanity) to your already busy life, let me give you one more idea: 

Saint on the Paint.

It's a rip off of "Elf on the Shelf" which is a rip off of Advent.  Saint on the Paint at least brings things back in line with where they need to be. 

And what kid doesn't like a good hide and seek game? 

They all do.  Heck, I still do, and I'm about to turn 45! 

So, here's my wee idea:  take a small icon of St. Nicholas, and hang him in a different place each day. 

Each location will have something to do with some sort of alms-giving or learning opportunity.
.  It might be an act of service your child can perform to help another person, perhaps, or something they can collect for the poor.  Or even just some hidden coins near where the saint is hiding so that the child can help fill the alms box at Church, or pay to light a candle.  So, to get you started alms-giving with your child this Nativity Fast, here are ten ideas: 

1.  Hide your saint near the coloring supplies, and spend some time making cards for the shut-ins or sick in your parish.

2.  Hide your saint in the pantry.  Donate something to the food pantry together.

3.  Hide your saint where the fancy dishes are kept.  Offer the gift of hospitality to someone and invite them for dinner.

4.  Hide your saint near the coats or shoes, and then go out and rake someone's leaves. 

6.  Hide your saint in the bathroom and learn about water scarcity in developing countries together. 

7.  Hide your saint in the closet, and donate a coat to the homeless shelter.

8.  Hide your saint near school supplies and then put together some IOCC school kits and send them off.

9.  Hide your saint in the bathroom, and then put together personal items kits (toothbrush, soap, washcloth) for Syrian refugees, via IOCC. 

10.  Hide your saint near the television and watch a movie about a saint or Bible story together. 

OK, hope you have fun.  I'd love to hear if anyone decides to do this. 


GretchenJoanna said…
I think your ideas are great! I also have no children in the home, but I will love to see if someone tries these activities.
Have a blessed Nativity fast!
Kristi said…
What a great idea!! This is our first Nativity Fast, so we've been searching for ideas!
monica said…
This is an awesome idea. Elf on the Shelf is so dumb. Someday I will be a good mom and do this.
MrsDiGiacomo said…
Thank you for sharing this creative idea. We are starting this as of tomorrow, December 1st, with our young boys.

Are you putting any kind of narrative along with it, in the form of a letter or a card with "tasks", or anything of the kind?

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