All too often we hear our little saints call to us in the dark of night. "Mommy, I had a bad dream", or "I see a monster in the closet!" We might lie dawn with them a while, and assure them that the monster was really only their jacket...you know,the one that they left on the doorknob instead of hanging it up as they were supposed to do. When my children were little, I found that having a holy water font available to them, just inside their bedroom door, had proven to be very helpful on nights like these and they would often ask to be blessed before they could go back to sleep. They have icons of their patron saints there too, to remind them that they have special saintly friends to watch over them. Our children have grown up with prayer time at the family icon corner, but after having repeated a few of these restless nights we decided that it might be both fun and helpful for them to have a little prayer corner of their very own where they could turn at night when they are afraid, or just to go to when they just wanted some alone time with the Lord. We noticed some really simple wooded corner shelves at a local craft store which were the perfect place to display a few special items. The craft they'll make today to commemorate the feast is a great start, with maybe a little battery operated votive candle to shine cheerfully during the night, to keep those monsters at bay.
These crosses are the very ones that I used to craft with the children of our Passaic Eparchy when we gathered together at the "End of the Year Celebration" at the Carpathian Village, which was years before I crafted them with my own children! They were always very popular (we typically made hundreds of them!). and they are very easy to make.
First, lets gather a box of macaroni ( any shapes will do) and some white craft glue, a marker or pencil and scissors. We'll need some string and some heavy-duty tape, like packing tape. Later on we'll need some metallic spray paint.
First, we pour the macaroni out of the box and cut it open so that the back of the box lays flat. We draw the shape of a cross on the inside of the box (mom or dad should probably help) making it rather thick, not pencil thin.
Cut out the cross, and using the tape, fix a piece of string to the back (printed) side of the cross so that you can hang it up later. Next, glue the macaroni to the gray side, arranging the various shapes in any pattern you choose.
Set these aside to dry well. While they dry, you can relate to the children just why it is that Christ died for us on that cross, and how we venerate the cross because it is a symbol or reminder of Christ's great love for all of us.
When they crosses are completely dry, you can spray paint them any color you like. Metallic gold or silver are especially nice.
We will hang these crosses on a hook in the corner of their room above their own little icon corner, and add items to their corner as we craft them during the year.