Liturgical Living for Beginners: An Our Lady of Guadalupe Play Date, with help from me and CCC

This is a sponsored post. See my disclosure policy.

I had such fun last spring putting together a St. Patrick's Day play date that I decided to do another one . . . this time for the upcoming feasts of St. Juan Diego on December 9th and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th.

Getting started with liturgical living in the home can feel like a really daunting task. It did for me, anyway. But this is a festive time of year, and a great time to invite a few friends over. I love liturgically-themed play dates. Just a couple other moms, their kids . . . a couple of snacks, an activity, and a book or movie about the saint. If you've never done ANY liturgical living in the home, this is a an excellent way to start.

Growing up in Southern California, I've always had a great love for Our Lady of Guadalupe. I remember girls coming to school with their hair in braids for the occasion. Is that a real thing? I don't know. The internet won't tell me. But it's been fun keeping up that tradition with my own girls. Here's 2012 . . .

Aww, look at tiny Anita!

But back to the party. I'm going to talk you through it step by step.

- the guests -

Probably, you're going to want people to come to your party. So, you're going to want to invite them. I've done play dates like this for as few as three and as many as thirty kids. I think ideal is around six to ten kids. Evite is great for keeping track of people, but for something like this, I find a good old-fashioned email is just as good, maybe better. You can just type up the what, when, where and send it, or, if you're feeling fancy, you can make your own invitation image in Picmonkey, and email that.

Or you can use this one . . .

If you right click on it, and save the image to your computer, you can then pull it up in Picmonkey and type in the text you want to add, save it again, then email it out.

Or ya know, just print it out, write on it with a pen, and hand it to people. Up to you.

- the craft -

I like to have a little craft available to do as families are arriving. It can be a simple coloring page and some crayons . . .
found here

found here

Or something a little more involved. Catholic Icing sells printable ornaments for all the advent saints, including Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Or make your own tilma out of a paper grocery bag! We've done these, they turn out so cute.

Tissue paper flowers are great as a craft at the party for older kids, or if all your guests are little, you can make them ahead of time yourself for decoration. They come together quickly and are very festive and authentically Mexican.

- the snacks -

Kids like snacks. Everyone likes snacks. In fact, the food is where I'm always tempted to get carried away. There are always so many cute ideas out there. But too many choices is overwhelming for little kids, and a lot of work for hostesses. Usually one beverage choice plus water, and a couple of food choices is plenty.

Mexican hot chocolate is very popular with my kids. The real thing is called champurrado and it is UH-mazing, but unless you've got a Mexican grocery store nearby, you're probably not going to be able to get the ingredients. It's also kind of complicated to make. But very, very tasty. If you want to cheat, you can just make regular powdered hot chocolate and put cinnamon in it. Kids will still think you are pretty awesome. If you want to feel better about cheating, you can get the Mexican kind of powdered hot chocolate.

The traditional side to the chocolate is churros, which are a long, fried, donut-type pastry. They sell them frozen at grocery stores around here, and they come with a special little tube you can microwave them in, so they come out crunchy. Then you roll them in cinnamon and sugar.

If you don't want to invite a bunch of other people's kids over to your house and then hop them up on hot chocolate and sugar-covered donuts . . . you could always go with quesadillas.
Kids love 'em.
A make your own nacho bar is fun, with chips, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

- the entertainment -

After snack time, I like to have some sort of saint-themed entertainment for the kids. We have quite a few of CCC of America's Saints and Heroes animated films, and they just so happen to have a perfectly lovely movie about St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is only a half an hour . . . just the right length for younger liturgical year observers.

JUAN DIEGO: MESSENGER OF GUADALUPE is the true story of how the Blessed Mother chose a hero for a key role in a beautiful miracle that would united diverse peoples and change the course of history. In the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City the miracle of the tilma of Juan Diego may still be seen, just as it was seen by the bishop in 1531.

If you don't already own this one you can order it (or any of the other CCC movies) now and get 30% plus free shipping when you use the code BLOGGER30

They make great gifts for kids, grandchildren, godchildren, etc.

And SPEAKING of liturgical living, tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (when Mary was conceived, not Jesus) and it's a Holy Day of Obligation, so get thee to church!

Here's how we usually celebrate that one:

A Little Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a Little About Feasts