Only nine more days until Christmas! Tonight a custom is celebrated all over the world which is known by many different names; La Posada (The Inn), Golden Nights, and Seeking Shelter. The events in the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem are commemorated at this time.
This is a beautiful tradition where villagers with candles sing and go door to door, seeking shelter for Mary and Joseph. They sing songs and pray as they are rejected night after night. Finally, on the last night of Las Posadas, Mary and Joseph are allowed into a chosen home. The figure of baby Jesus is laid in a manger and everyone gathers around and sings a lullaby. Then everyone pours back into the streets for firecrackers, feasting, and merrymaking.
If you want to celebrate this tradition in the home, before your evening devotion, assemble the family and sing advent songs as you process the creche figures of Mary, Joseph, and the donkey into the living room. Put the figures in a special place of honor and light a candle next to them. Remind your children that we are trying to create an atmosphere of consideration and unselfishness for Mary and Joseph.
Or you could allow each of your children to make up for the harsh treatment that the holy couple received by hosting the figures in their room for the day. Instead of processing the figures in the living room, process them to the door of the first child’s room while singing Advent songs. Explain to your children that when it is their turn, they should do everything possible to create a warm and loving atmosphere for Mary and Joseph. Suggest cleaning their room, clearing a spot on their dresser for the figures, placing fresh evergreens around the figures, or ribbons, etc.
Read a book about Las Posadas. I love this one by Taomie dePaola. The illustrations are beautiful and it is such a sweet story!