What Everyone Should Do for the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, with a printable

by | Nov 10, 2014 | Catholic Living, Liturgical Year, November, November, Printables | 10 comments

Is that too strong? Well, it’s what WE are going to do anyway: CLEAN OUT THE COAT CLOSET!

It’s something we can ALL do, no matter our financial circumstances. We can take a look in our coat closets and see if we have anything to spare. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. But I’ll bet we could all stand to take a look in there and tidy up a bit.
My rule for us is going to be: It gets to stay if it’s in good working order and will be used by my family with the next two years. Otherwise it goes.
St. Martin’s Day is a great time to do necessary cleaning and repairs (why are all of our coats always put away filthy?) and be boldly generous with what we’ve got, because, odds are, there is someone who could really use our help.

I’ve been on a bit of a tear around here, as you may have noticed. I cleaned out my closet, cleaned it WAY out. And it’s been great. Even though I made a fall wardrobe and it’s consistently been in the nineties all week. Whew. At least I didn’t put away all the short sleeves. (Have you cleaned your wardrobe out? Have you linked it up?)

I’ve also done the kids’ closets. Blogging is forthcoming on that. But on Tuesday, November 11th, St. Martin’s Day, I’m going to go through the coat closet and get that down to a reasonable number of items for us as well. We’re going to get rid of duplicate sizes, and sizes we won’t be using for the next couple years. And I’m going to give our extra coats to families who will be able to use them NOW.

Did you notice the background of my capsule wardrobe graphic? That’s St. Martin of tours, cutting his cloak, to give half of it to a beggar.

We live in Southern California, of the aforementioned ninety degree weather in November. But I still have all the coats we had when we lived in Chicago.

I’m planning to go through and keep 3-4 for me, and no more than two per size for the kids, one light weight jacket and one heavier coat. (It WILL cool down enough for sleeves here at some point, and we go camping.) That should still give me quite a few to donate. Of course, giving away a whole coat, even many whole coats, when I still have a closet-full at home, isn’t quite the same as giving away half of the only warmth you have. But, I figure it will be a good start.

I made the St. Basil quote printable, for inspiration!

And since it’s a FEAST, after the cleaning out, we’re going to have dessert.

We’re also going to have dessert today, since November 10th is the Marine Corps Birthday, and you only turn 239 once.

With dessert, silly. Here’s what Betty made for her dad last year:

For more FUN things to do for St. Martin’s Day check out these posts . . .

From Molly Makes Do: Martinmas Hide and Seek

and Two Os Plus More: 7 Quick Ways to Celebrate Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours

And have you heard about the new Advent Journal from Blessed is She?

Click here to learn more and order! All proceeds go to help with operational costs for Blessed Is She. Help US help you, ladies. 😀


  1. Phyllis

    I am somewhat taken aback about your title. It assumes that every Catholic has extra coats in their closet. I am struggling to make sure all my kids have coats. Don't assume every Catholic is rich.

    • Molly Walter

      Phyllis – I'm truly sorry to hear that you're struggling, but let's not be harsh on a woman who is try ing to set a good example for others to help those in difficult situation – even those of us who are far from rich often have something, maybe just one thing, that we've got grown in our closets. After all her first sentence is "Is that too harsh? Well, it's what WE are going to do anyway…."

    • Phyllis

      I am sorry I came off as harsh. I just was excited to see a post that promised something that everyone could do, and then it turned out that it wasn't. Then I got to thinking that there are a lot of people in the same boat I am in, and yet there are people that assume that everyone has a closet full of coats to pick and choose which ones to give away. Forgive me for sounding too harsh.

    • Kendra

      Thanks Phyllis, I added a couple more paragraphs at the beginning, to help clarify how I really do think this is something everyone can do, even if it does turn out that you don't have a single thing to spare. It's nice to have a look.

      I do appreciate feedback. If you read something and think it's coming across wrong, I'd like to know about it. But I'd especially appreciate it in an email.

  2. Amanda

    Thank you for this! I was just messing with so many more coats than we need. This is one item I can clear out and donate to people who will use it instead of to goodwill – I found a nationwide charity called http://onewarmcoat.org/

  3. Brigid

    I need to carve out the time to actually DO the clean out. Thank you for the St. Basil print-out — your link to the sermon really changed my perspective on how much I own, and I so appreciated it. (Also ordered my BIS journal when it was released, and I am sooo excited to use it.)

  4. Hafsa

    I did not know that little tidbit on St. Martin of Tours, that's pretty cool. And I love the St. Basil quote, we have boxes sitting in our garage ready for me to drive them over to our local St. Vincent DePaul thrift store. Now I know what I'll be doing today to honor Martinmas.

  5. Anna

    This is a wonderful idea Kendra. Our family is full of soldiers and sailors, so when it comes to eats the traditional Martinmas fair is cast aside for Veteran's Day freebies. But we can certainly donate coats.

  6. Anonymous

    First big snowfall of the year for us in Minnesota and digging through the coat closet last night was awful! I NEED to do this tomorrow.

  7. Nanacamille

    That is a great idea. I have old uniform coats from 20 yrs ago that won't get used unless they call me back to fly a trip. That's not very likely even though I have dreams that they do and don't even pay me for it

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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