Lorelei Savaryn finds a way to carry a beloved Christmas tradition into a special time of Lenten prayer with her family.
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is picking up the mail and opening Christmas cards from family and friends. I love seeing family pictures, beautiful holiday illustrations, annual updates, silly stories. Some cards come from those we’ve known our whole lives, while others have been more recent additions. But no matter who it’s from, a holiday card brings a smile to my face and reminds me of all the people we have to be thankful for. We display the cards in the dining room, adding to the collection as the weeks go by.
Our family has started a tradition, one that allows us to pull the Christmas season with us along into the new year, and particularly into Lent. Instead of recycling the cards we received or storing them in a bin, we now place them in a little basket in our bedroom where we do our family's bedtime routine, right in the spot where we read stories, sing songs, share snuggles, and lift up prayers with the kids each night.
Now that Lent is upon us, we will pull out a card each night and share a bit about our relationship and care for the person or family who sent us the card. Then we pray for that family together. We’ll do this for as many nights as it takes for us to pray for them all.
Another variation on this idea would be to gather your family and make a list of people and families that you care about, and choose one from that list each day during Lent to pray for, too, no Christmas cards required.
There are so many beautiful ideas for liturgical living during the season of Lent. I’ve grown fond of selecting a Lenten discipline that adds something to my spiritual life in recent years, and this has been such a simple, yet joyful addition to the devotions of the season for our family as a whole. During a year when there has been less togetherness than we’re used to, it feels especially profound to draw near to those we love in prayer in this intentional way.
Copyright 2021 Lorelei Savaryn
Image: Annie Spratt (2016), Unsplash
About the Author
Lorelei Savaryn joyfully joined the Catholic Church in 2016 after many years as a Protestant. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, four children, and dog named Saint. She writes about her faith and family life on ThisCatholicFamily.com. She is also a children's author. Her debut novel, The Circus of Stolen Dreams, released in Sept 2020 from Penguin Random House/Philomel.