After forgetting the Nativity of the Theotokos until The Day Of, now the SECOND of the two biggest holidays in September sneaks up on me with even less warning - didn't know until I sat down to read blogs during Kittyboy's nap. I knew the Elevation was the 14th - I also believed the 14th to be tomorrow.
Fortunately, Kittyboy DID take a nap today, and I attacked my craft drawers for popsicle sticks, glue, whatever I could find. Father usually celebrates the Elevation on the Sunday immediately preceding, which was yesterday, when we were out of town at a family reunion, so obviously we'd missed out on church. This is the feast day celebrating the finding of the Holy Cross by St. Helen, and there is a procession around the church with a cross carried on a tray decorated with flowers. Tray, cross, flowers, that much I could come up with.
The cross is popsicle sticks glued together, and the base of it (so that it stands up) is a hairspray cap. Yes, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel here, I need to start stocking up on craft supplies. But it was a cross that would stand up, and I traced a cross on construction paper that he could color. And when Kittyboy woke up, we went outside to pick flowers! As you can see, he was very happy with the popsicle-stick cross, and insisted it had to come along with us.
I hadn't come up with anything clever for a tray - I never entertain, I had no little trays about to press into service, so I decided he could decorate a "tray" himself. I did think to take his shirt off and lay down newspaper before handing him his very first paint brush!It doesn't show well in the picture, but it was green, yellow and gold paint. Within it, he painted a lot of crosses, or so he told me. And no paint got onto carpet, and only a little on his shorts, which were cut-off sweat shorts anyway.
I had cut pages from an icon calendar a couple years old, and the September one was naturally the Elevation of the Cross, and so we sat with the icon and I read the text that went along with it, and he helped me put mums around the cross on the tray.
As you can see from his coloring sheet, he is very proud of his new-found ability to draw straight lines and circles. He drew many of both.
Sadly, future family reunions are likely to always be the second Sunday in September (they switched it just this year from Labor Day weekend, we'd not even thought about a conflict with a feast day), three hours away in the Champaign area - BUT, we can still be in church for the Elevation if we leave here way early and attend at Three Hierarchs there in Champaign.
Next year, we'll make it!