Advent is a sacred time in which we await the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. While the secular world around me seems to be in full-swing Christmas celebrations, I, among other Catholics, am trying to focus on the birth of Christ, which is still weeks away, and to instead prepare myself and my home for His birth.
Sometimes I get sidetracked. Thinking of the menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and if we should have a 12th Night Party; getting our home ready to be decorated; celebrating the many feast days of December; and shopping for loved ones. It can be challenging to remain in the season of Advent when our day-to-day to-do lists are already overflowing and adding all of the "get ready of Christmas" tasks can make things even more stressful and time consuming. For some of us, Christmas shopping can get in the way of truly enjoying the calm that the Advent season should bring us as we wait to celebrate Jesus Christ being born.
This year, I made it a point to shop with Christ as my focus, and when possible, to support Catholic companies or individuals. While our budget for Christmas presents is not large, I always seek to find meaningful gifts for those whom I love. The following are some of my favorite gifts this year and some great gifts I found while shopping that I wouldn't mind unwrapping on Christmas morning. The best part is that you can shop for all of these online! (Some gifts below contain affiliate links. Read more below.)
(Warning: family members and/or friends, do not read this list! Especially, you, husband!)
Silicone Rosary: https://chewslife.com
Book: "God Made Wonderful Me" by Genny Monchamp https://amzn.to/2LGHfQV
Book: "My See and Pray Missal" to help children understand the Traditional Latin Mass.
Wee Believers My Pop-Out 14 Piece Children's Mass Activity Set: https://amzn.to/36oneXf
61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and a True Story of the Impossible Paperback by Bonnie L Engstrom
Roman Catholic Daily Missal by Angelus Press: https://amzn.to/2t7sLmR
Bracelets and Scarf from Trades of Hope: mytradesofhope.com/jennaaoyama
Coffee from The Benedictine Monks of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery: abbeyroast.com
Rosewood Lip Trio from Beautycounter: beautycounter.com
Be Not Afraid Engraved Keychain from Just Love Prints:justloveprints.com
(In Saint John Paul II's handwriting!)
What are some of your favorite gifts for Christmas this year? Either to give or to recevie? Please share with us on Facebook.com/CatholicMomRI. Have a blessed Advent and may God bless you.
Catholic Mom Rhode Island is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you click though to Amazon from a link on this blog and make a purchase, I will receive a commission from Amazon.
The Feast Day of St. Nicholas is one of our favorite days to celebrate as a family! While we don't decorate much for Christmas during the season of Advent, St. Nicholas Day is a great "teaser" of what will come at Christmas which is only a few weeks away!
How We Celebrate
In the days and weeks leading up to St. Nicholas Day, I make sure that our festivities will be simple enough to continue to remain in spirit of Advent yet fun and educational enough that it will (hopefully) leave a lasting impression on our son. Here are some ways to celebrate the original Santa Claus: Saint Nicholas!
1. Book about St. Nicholas
We LOVE this book about Saint Nicholas by Ann Tompert. While we usually borrow it from the library, our son loves it so much that I bought it as one of his Christmas presents for this year! Click here to get your copy!
2. Leaving Out Shoes
My son can smell chocolate a mile away! I have to hide his chocolate coins really well in our house. Trader Joe's has yummy chocolate coins but if you're in a pinch, you can grab some from Amazon as well. We leave his chocolate coins and other treats like candy canes, oranges and trail mix in his shoes the night before! While we do tell him that mommy and daddy fill his shoes with the treats, he knows that it is because it is St. Nicholas day!
This year, I found this amazing and FREE printable on Instagram. Shower of Roses to make your chocolate coins more festive! Click here to get your free printable and make sure you check her out on Instagram, too!
This is the most important part of our yearly tradition! We try extra hard to get to daily Mass on the Feast of Saint Nicholas. If for some reason we can't make it, I read the daily readings to our son (who usually runs around or plays while I do so) and make sure to spend some extra time in reflective prayer during the day.
St. Nicholas (Jaroslav Čermák (1831 - 1878) - Sv. Mikuláš, Galerie Art Praha)
How are you celebrating Saint Nicholas’s Feast Day? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.