The Church Year is celebrated with the Mass, the Divine Office, and with certain traditional devotions. At the same time, the many and various ways in which the grace of God in Christ is taught, celebrated, and distributed to God's people in the course of the Liturgical Year ought to be so celebrated in our lives that we integrate them into our home life. Contrary to the thinking of some in the Wisconsin Synod, you cannot make yourself a pastor, and have your own house church, with your own eucharist. However, there is something very healthy and spiritually nurturing in the long folk tradition of the home reflecting what happens in church, by means of customs which help us mark the rhythms of the Liturgical Year's various fasts and feasts. We can do this in terms of both food and activities, and learning to integrate them into our prayer life, and vice-versa.
One of the little ways Ruth and I bring the Church Year into the home is to have an annual Saint Nicholas' Day party. I have come to see what perhaps many of you have long known, namely, that there is a plenitude of internet resources to aid the Christian family in making the Church Year come alive in the home. So I would like to highlight and recommend a few web sites. A couple of these I got directly from the New Liturgical Movement blog, and I thank and tip my aging beret to the bloggers there.
Family Food for Feast and Feria is a blog that focuses on recipes and food, and looks quite interesting.
At some point a number of years ago, I was wondering around a used bookshop-I don't remember if it was before I left Milwaukee or when I got to Ft. Wayne-and I discovered Maria Augusta Trapp's Around the Year with the Trapp Family. It has provided my family with insights and ideas that we have found useful. The book is now out of print, but you can find its content at the web site of EWTN, the TV network begun by Mother Angelica. Excerpts from the book have also been posted in more attractive blog form at the appropriately named blog, Around the Year With the Trapp Family.
At the blog, O Night Divine, you will find some interesting things on Advent and Christmas, though it is written from the perspective of the modern Roman Rite. Also, if you look at the right side of that blog, and scroll down, you will see links to other web resources helpful for the Christmas season.
Finally, I'd like to recommend the blog, Catholic Cuisine.
Explore and enjoy.