Our Christmas Day Christkindl Family Gift Exchange

by | Jan 14, 2013 | Advent and Christmas, Christkindl, Christmas 2012 | 8 comments

We loved incorporating the Christkindl tradition into our own family traditions this year!  On the first Sunday of Advent we all drew names, and though out Advent we prayed and did special favors for that particular person.  We did our best to keep who had who a secret and we actually did really well!

We wanted to end with a Christkindl gift exchange, so that was a little challenging, since some of the children needed my help to get the gifts for their Christkindl. We gave them each an allowance to do so, but my hope is, as they get older, they will make gifts for each other… it just wasn’t practical this year, especially with our Advent birthdays.

I already knew that the Snuggles and Rose had each other, and had been helping them throughout Advent, and then I helped Rascal, Twinkle Toes and Chiquita with their gifts as well, but not until a couple days before Christmas. However, I still didn’t know who had me, that narrowed it down to Sean and Captain, and I really thought it was Sean!  (Though he did have me confused since I noticed him doing things for others throughout Advent too – Feeding the Cat for Rascal some mornings before work, beating me to putting the dishes away in the middle of the night so that Captain would find an empty dishwasher in the morning, bringing me home a coffee… I really wasn’t sure who he had, though I did know it wasn’t Captain!)  It was a nice surprise to find out that Captain and I had each other!!

Anyways, Chiquita started our gift exchange, carrying her gift (a box she choose to fill with little packages of lego mini-figures) over to Rascal.  Rascal then gave his gift (a set of Rebecca books) to Twinkle Toes.

Twinkle Toes had her Daddy!  She was so cute and reminded him of a few nights before Christmas when we were praying the rosary… Sean sometimes asks the kids if they have a specific intention they would like to pray for.  That particular night he asked Twinkle Toes and she responded, “My Christkindl!”  Sean went on to expand on that intention, praying specifically for certain things for that person (grow in virtues, etc) and he had no idea he was asking for those things for himself! Very sweet!!  And he loved the Latin Mass Missal Cover I helped her order for him, along with a Hershey’s candy bar.

Sean went on to give Chiquita her gift (a set of Kaya books).   (There was the surprise! I really did think he had me, ever since that hug!)  At that point we just had Snuggles, Rose, Captain and I!  I gave Captain Big Ben to build and he surprised me with a gift card to my favorite coffee shop and a hand-drawn picture to line the gift box!  Snuggles and Rose exchanged gifts next… then it was time for more coffee breakfast, before the kids began opening the rest of their Christmas gifts.  Gift opening aways takes quite awhile in our home!  ðŸ™‚


  1. Katie

    How do you store everything in your home? I must know!! ha, ha! Are the boys good at keeping the lego sets together?
    With new Christmas gifts, do you get rid of things or declutter fairly regularly?
    And on a side note – you have some beautiful statues of Jesus and saints – do you just store some of them and get them out when you want to display one?
    Really, you do have very good organizational skills – would love to see a post on how you organize a family of 9!! We are a family of 7 now, and I always feel like I have to keep so much, especially if it was a "gift" from someone…

  2. Layla Martin

    I would love to know where you store all of this too! How do you find time to homeschool and have a hubby and keep up with an extensive blog? You go girl!

  3. Krista

    I noticed that "Magic Cabin" has Saint Lucia dolls! Do you happen to have one of those?!?!?!?!?

  4. mel

    Our Christkindl was a bit of a bust i'm afraid. We did ok for a couple of weeks, and then it just fell aside. I'm thinking we will try again next year, but if anyone has any ideas…..

  5. Jessica Gordon

    Let's see if I can answer a few of your questions… Storage has always been an issue for me, though it has gotten a little easier with our addition. 🙂 It's a constant work in progress for me and I'm hoping to work on getting a little better organized this Spring – for now most everything for feast days, birthdays, etc, is stored in either the school room or my closet. Both areas that I rarely post pictures of! 😉

    Yes, the boys are pretty good at keeping the sets together. Many of them had gotten mixed up, since they had taken a part quite a few to make some original creations, but last Spring (when the girls had pneumonia and Sean was on that last 3 week training) they spent days putting them all back together! When the legos are out and covering the floor in their bedroom I will put up a baby gate to keep the little ones out.

    I do get rid of things and try and de-clutter frequently, especially during Lent each year. If something isn't used and/or loved I pass it on, even if it was given to us as a gift. Year ago I purchased the book It's All Too Much and reading that book helped me with letting go certain things, including some gifts… The author said something along the lines that "Mementos are not memories. Just because it was a gift doesn't mean you must keep it forever. If it's important then keep it in a condition that shows it's important." Some gifts we keep for awhile and then pass on to a new home, others stay…

    We do have a lot of statues, but I also have very few other "knick knacks" in my home. Most of our decorations are religious. Some are stored on a couple shelves (in the corner of my closet, or in the schoolroom bookcase) and set out seasonally, others are out year round.

    It seems, with each new addition/baby in the family, it takes a couple years for me to "make room" and adjust to all the extra stuff, and by that time we are usually expecting another! As I continue to organize this year I will try and share on my blog.

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you! I just answered Katie's questions above… It is always a challenge to keep up with it all! 🙂

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Yes! The girls actually found the Sweden and North American dolls (St. Lucia and St. Kateri) in their stockings this year! I knew I was forgetting something and just added them to our Christmas Day in the Morning post.

  8. Jessica Gordon

    I'm sorry! It was difficult for the younger ones to do special things every day, so the focus for them was on prayer – saying an extra prayer every day for our Christkindl.

    Lena created a prayer chart for her girls' club and I think something like this might be very helpful next year!


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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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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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