I’ve been making Christmas lists for awhile now, ever since I found out this baby was due on Christmas. Most of them have just been in a notebook on my nightstand, so I haven’t blogged much about them. I was asked by a few of you to share my lists this year, and perhaps if I actually blog about it, it will help me “check them twice” and finish up any details I am more than likely forgetting!

Even though I keep telling myself I am “almost ready” for Advent and Christmas, I still feel completely unprepared! I guess it is just because I really have no idea when this little one will arrive… Our other children have been born anywhere from 3 weeks early (Chiquita) to 3 days early (Snuggles), which (if that is any indication) would put her arrival at anytime in December…

Anyhow, one of the lists I’ve been working on, was gifts for St. Nicholas Day. In our home, we have a family tradition of giving our children new slippers, gold coins, and a new Christmas Picture Book (to add to our collection) from St. Nicholas on December 6th.

Here’s a peek at the picture books I purchased for this year:

For the Family: St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas

“This beautiful, fully-illustrated coffee table book provides a closer look at Christmas and the St. Nicholas of history and legend. Full of historical information and rare illustrations from Christian traditions around the world, this book will entertain, inform, and inspire readers as it teaches the true meaning of Christmas giving.”

*If you check out the used/like new copies available on Amazon, it is MUCH more affordable!

For Captain: Christmas at Stony Creek

“The pond at Stony Creek is perfect for ice skating, and a blanket of snow is on the ground. It’s almost Christmas. Pipsqueak wishes she could spend the days at the pond, then curl up in front of a glowing fire with her family. But Papa has gone away to search for food. He promised to be home soon, so by Christmas Eve, Pip is worried. What will they eat for Christmas dinner? How can they celebrate without Papa? Pip knows she must do something. There are mountains of food in the huge house on the hill. The one filled with cats and traps. The most dangerous place in Stony Creek. Mama has forbidden everyone from even mentioning the house. Pip’s not sure she has the courage to go there, but she has to try. She has to do it for Mama, Kit, Will, Nibs, Nan, and baby Finny. For Christmas. And for Papa. Braveness starts with a single step.”

For Rascal: An Orange for Frankie

We first discovered this book from the Christmas Mosaic book list and it has become a favorite. This year we are finally adding it to our own collection!

For Twinkle Toes: The Princess and the Kiss: The Three Gifts of Christmas

“In The Princess and the Kiss: The Three Gifts of Christmas, Christmas has come again to the kingdom, but the king and queen (the original princess in The Princess & the Kiss) have a serious problem. Their precious daughter is becoming spoiled. No longer does she appreciate her gifts as she should nor does she remember the true meaning of Christmas. Her troubled parents come up with a plan to cure the princess of her selfishness. This Christmas will be different-she will receive only three gifts, each one as precious as the princess is to her parents. What will the princess do with the gifts she receives? Will she at last discover the true meaning of Christmas? Children and parents alike will treasure this timeless story that reveals the biblical truth-the best gifts come from the heart.”

“Frank McCourt’s first Christmas book is by turns tender and heartwarming, and wholly unforgettable. Angela is six years old and worries for the Baby Jesus on the altar of St. Joseph’s Church near School House Lane in Limerick, Ireland, where she lives. December nights are damp and cold, and the church is dark. The Baby Jesus’ mother doesn’t even have a blanket to cover him. The Baby is sure to need Angela’s help, even if she is not allowed to step near the altar, especially by herself. Filled with the character and incident that have made Pulitzer Prize recipient Frank McCourt internationally renowned and beloved, Angela and the Baby Jesus is a timeless story of family–and all of its joy, tradition, love, and incongruity–and a book for the generations to cherish.”

For Snuggles: Christmas in the Barn 

Snuggles loves all books about animals!  We usually check this one out from the library, but it is another one I’m very happy to add to our own collection.

For Rose: All for the Newborn Baby

“Mary sings a lullaby to the newborn baby Jesus as He lies in the manger, and in her song she describes how the world around Him is rejoicing at His birth.”

(I also just ordered a used copy of this book, which looks so sweet!)

I’ve already purchased this years slippers for everyone, including a darling little pair for the baby! I was so excited when I saw them at the store last week shortly after receiving a darling little outfit, from a very thoughtful friend, which I think I’ll be taking to the hospital for our little rose to wear home. The slippers look like they were MADE to match and there was only one pair and they were size Newborn-6 weeks! I was SO excited!!

I have always wanted to order St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins for his feast day, but every year just end up sticking with the little bags from the local store. We usually repackage them though and attach a little note from St. Nicholas.

Breakfast, after Mass, will include a Candy Cane Coffee Cake and St. Nicholas Hot Cocoa. (We always make this to give away to friends as well!) Oh, and since it was such a hit with my children, I’ll probably make St. Nicholas Pizza once again for dinner. (Very easy and cute!)

This year, I also purchased a Playmobil Nativity Set as well as a Wood Nativity Block Set (Catholic Child had them on clearance last month, though they have since sold out…). I think I will give the children one of them on the first Sunday of Advent, and save the other for one of the O Antiphons. I just haven’t decided which to give when… I always love having nativity sets that the children can play with in addition to our family nativity.

Ok.. that’s all for now. I’ll try and post a bit more about our plans later!


  1. Charlotte (WaltzingM)

    We do the local store coins too along with a note from St. Nick. I like your idea of repackaging them! You are going to love the Three Gifts of Christmas book! Sunshine received it last year and it is guaranteed to make you cry!

  2. Erin

    I love seeing everybody's Advent/Christmas plans… I have been slooowly been compiling a blog post of our plans and also hope that it will help me to remember everything!! After making the Advent list, I hope to do one for the 12 days of Christmas… I feel like those tend to get lost and I want to do things to really *celebrate* all throughout the Christmas season! Just don't know what those plans will be at all yet!

    I still have store-bought chocolate coins from last year… I probably should replace those with newer ones, ha ha!!!

  3. Sarah

    I LOVE your lists of books! I have two tabs open, one to your post and one to our library to request at the same time! I think we'll be enjoying "An Orange for Frankie" as Lloyd LOVES oranges and is really enjoying the little mandarin's this time of year!

    You and your family are in my prayers!


  4. Anonymous

    I know what you mean. I have lists going, but I still feel a bit overwhelmed by everything. This one is due Dec. 6th. We host a big St. NIcholaus party at the parish. I still need to sew a jesse tree…and bake goodies. oh my!!

  5. Kelly

    What a fantastic tradition Jessica! We also do the coins from the store. But we just put them in their old shoes. I like your idea of the new slippers better. 🙂
    I always love new picture books and adding these as part of the St.Nicholas celebration is such a good idea.

    Thank you for sharing your plans with us.

    God bless!

  6. Anonymous

    Sounds great Jessica!

  7. Kelly

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I love the book you picked for Rose (the one you just ordered). What a perfect name!

  8. Angela

    Love your booklist – my kids loved Angela and the Baby Jesus when we read it last year.

    I got my St. Nicholas coins!

    And we are very much looking forward to that candy cane coffee cake again this year!

  9. Sarah

    Your list of books looks great! I'm sure your children will be so excited to receive them from St. Nick. And we will be trying your cocoa mix this year for sure!

    Lastly, you continue to look absolutely beautiful, Jessica (referring to your 35-week photos =) I hope you are feeling well, too. You're almost there—Yay!!

  10. Margaret

    Jessica. There is nothing small about the successes you have every week. You are amazing cous! I can't even keep up with my blog these days. {sigh} Keep it up!

  11. Like cousin, like cousin

    Did anyone ever tell you that you and your cousin look so much alike? Like sisters…


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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