Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

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Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude Thaddeus

Today is the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude - both part of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ.

Jude Thaddeus. His symbols include a boat and a walking stick to symbolize his travels. He is usually depicted carrying an image of Christ in his hand.
A Fuller Look at the Saint
John via Flickr  licensed creative commons 

St. Jude Thaddeus was the brother of James the Lesser and a cousin of Jesus Christ. He is usually asked for intercession in difficult or impossible cases.

Once a king asked for a painting of Jesus, and the Lord put his impression a piece of cloth and gave it to St. Jude, who then presented it to the king.

St. Jude traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Libya and Persia. After he was martyred, his body was brought to Rome and he is buried in a tomb with St. Simon in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica.

Simon's symbols include  a fish or fishing lines for being a "Fisher of men,"

 St. Simon by  Brett Davis  via Flickr  licensed under cc 2.0

St. Simon was an older cousin of Jesus and some say that his mother was Mary's sister. After our Lord's Ascension and the murder of St. James the Lesser, Simon was chosen to be the Bishop of Jerusalem. When the Jewish civil war broke out in 66, the new Christians settled in Pella with St. Simon.They returned to Jerusalem after its destruction by the Romans and the early church flourished there.

When Emperor Trajan ordered the destruction of the descendants of David, St. Simon was denounced, tortured and crucified. Tradition says he was 120 years old and his sufferings inspired many.