St. Nicholas Day in the Morning

-Pictures from St. Nicholas Day in the Morning 2023-

Holy Bishop St. Nicholas lived faraway
Near the Aegean Sea is where Turkey did lay.
Travel back with us now to a time long ago.
We will visit his country, his life we will know.

Ostheimer Figures from our Collection

We remember this saint, such a holy, good man.
Be like him in charity, do all that you can.
Many miracles Nicholas hastened to do,
Helping people in need with gifts that were new.

This year’s New Christmas Books for the Feast of St. Nicholas

Bishop Nicholas traveled to Nicea town,
Where the Creed would be written, to us handed down.
During church every Sunday, we stand for the Creed.
Thank you Bishop St. Nicholas, for doing this deed.

Sailors tossed in the wind and the storms of the sea,
Saw a vision of Nicholas who guided them free.
Now patron of sailing, they remember him yet.
Many icons and pictures with fisherman’s net.

Drinking with Saint Nick, Winter Ale and Dr. Squatch SoapThe Christmas Rocket and new Hey Dudes

Giving money to poor girls, so marry could they,
Made our Nicholas famous, remembered today.
With dowry in hand, soon they were wed.
“God bless you and keep you,” St. Nicholas said.

A Christmas Carol The Graphic Novel and Dr. Squatch The Soap Star Wars Collection • The Lion in the Box and new shoes

Kid’s patron in Germany, Netherlands, too.
Asks that presents be given to children like you.
Their customs are different: they put out their shoes—
Filling them with toys, his coming’s good news!

‘Twas the Day Before Christmas in Bethlehem Town and Wooden Advent WreathSilent Night and OLG Wooden Candle

Here stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
In hope that St. Nicholas soon will come there.
Dressed as bishop or Santa, he’s one and the same—
Jolly, friendly, good man, we’re glad that he came.

St. Nicholas left a letter with details and tickets for a Journey to the North Pole Cruise that evening!

Call him “Santa” or “Saint,” they both mean the same,
For his nickname is Claus, short for Nicholas’ name.
Giving gifts was his custom—we still do today.
Deeds done in Jesus’ name forever will stay.

From this year’s Advent Book Basket Saint Nicholas: Patron Saint of ChildrenBook Review Here

Bishop Nicholas still is a hero to all.
Christmas Day, and all others we follow his call,
Bringing gifts and some joy to children in need.
Follow Nicholas today—do a good deed.

– Author Unknown

Older kids had to get to work and online classes so breakfast was Scrambled Eggs, Sausages and Cinnamon Rolls this year.We decided to save our usual Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake for Christmas!

On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day 2023 Pictures Here

Rorate Caeli Mass

Rorate Caeli Mass at Thomas Aquinas College

Rorate Caeli Mass at Thomas Aquinas College

Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum, aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour.

– first words of the Introit from Isaiah 45:8

Our daughter down at Thomas Aquinas College sent us this picture of their Rorate Mass this morning! ✨ She will be flying home late this upcoming Friday night for Christmas break!! 💛 Hopefully we’ll be able to attend the Rorate Mass at our parish together again since it is scheduled for next Saturday morning! ✨

“The Rorate Caeli Mass is a traditional Advent devotion wherein the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Advent is offered just before dawn…

…The Rorate Mass is lit only by candlelight. Because it is a votive Mass in Mary’s honor, white vestments are worn instead of Advent violet. In the dimly lit setting, priests and faithful prepare to honor the Light of the world, Who is soon to be born, and offer praise to God for the gift of Our Lady. As the Mass proceeds and sunrise approaches, the church becomes progressively brighter, illumined by the sun as our Faith is illumined by Christ.” – FSSP

Fiat Liturgical Planner

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception, friends! I just got a heads-up from Sophia Institute Press about a weekend sale that’s too good not to share so I quickly finished up this review post for you all. If you’ve had your eye on the Fiat Liturgical Planner for the upcoming year, now’s the time. In celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, enjoy a whopping 30% OFF on orders over $25. But wait, there’s more! For orders exceeding $50, you’ll not only snag the discount but also score a FREE copy of The Vatican Christmas Cookbook. I recently placed an order but might stock up on a few more gifts.

2024 Fiat Liturgical Planner

The Fiat Liturgical Planner is back, and it’s even better than last year with upgraded paper and a sturdy hardcover! If you’ve been wishing for a planner that mixes practicality with the beauty of the traditional Catholic liturgical year, this is the one! Created by the folks behind The Illustrated Liturgical Year calendars, this planner is a feast for your eyes with illustrations, monthly dedications, prayers, and saint quotes.

No more struggling to remember feast days – colorful images for every day of the year make it a breeze. Plus, it’s not just pretty; it covers all the liturgical bases, from the primary feast for each day, fasting and abstinence guidelines, vestment colors, and more!

The planner featured here is the Full-size version. One of our children used the Small/Compact version this year and really loved it, especially the daily illustrations of the Saints.

The Illustrated Liturgical Year Calendar

I’ve been sharing the beautiful art from Liturgy of the Home for years now (remember when they were just black and white and printed at home?!) and we love The Illustrated Liturgical Year Calendars just as much as ever! Someday I’d like to find a place to hang them up framed, but for now we simply use the Wooden Poster Hanger with a wreath hanger over the pantry door in the kitchen.

The Advent/Christmas Season Calendars are here or sign up for a subscription.

Liturgy of the Home Membership

Sophia does offer a coordinating coloring book, but I really love the membership over at Liturgy of the Home! I printed out the Advent Coloring Pages and our little girls have been enjoying them so much. (Thought I had a picture but can’t seem to find it! Might update later.)

Fiat Liturgical Planner

On Sale at Sophia Institute Press!

This weekend only, in celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, get 30% OFF orders over $25 and one (1) FREE copy of The Vatican Christmas Cookbook for all orders over $50. No promo code necessary.

Other favorites to consider when filling your cart: Searching for and Maintaining Peace, Little Way of Living With Less, Know Thyself!, other Games and Puzzles, The Holy Mass (STEAL of a deal right now at only $15!!!), The Wise Men Who Found Christmas (only $5!!!) Brides of Christ (this will be going in a 2024 Easter Basket), Therese of Lisieux Comic Book and many more of the Children’s Books.

(All links are affiliate links. Thank you for your support!)

Saint Nicholas: Patron Saint of Children

Today, for the feast of St. Nicholas, our Advent Book Basket included the brand new book Saint Nicholas: Patron Saint of Children from the Our Friends in Heaven Trilogy! Originally published in French in 1928, the richly illustrated St. Nicholas Patron Saint of Children is a remarkable exposition of our beloved champion of God. Thank you to St. Augustine Academy Press for translating and reprinting this treasure!

At the onset, the book tastefully reminds us who the real person of Santa Claus truly is. After setting this record straight, we are treated to a series of inspiring true stories of his life, including the slapping of the heretic, Arius for denying the Divinity of Christ.

Living in the tumultuous times of Emperor Diocletian’s reign of terror, we see how St. Nicholas, as Bishop Myra endured persecution and thereafter flourished to restore Christendom and then miraculously intercede for his countrymen.

In this book about the true story of “Santa Claus” you will discover the inspiring life of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.

Saint Nicholas: Patron Saint of Children is the second book in the Our Friends in Heaven Trilogy. I highly recommend purchasing all three books and now is the perfect time!

St. Augustine Academy Press is having a FLASH SALE from now until midnight on Friday, December 8th, save 15% on your entire order when you purchase one or more of the books from this series! Just use the coupon code STNICK2023, and as long as one of these books is in your cart, you will save 15% on everything. 

Saint Nicholas, pray for us!

On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day

Writing Letter to St. Nicholas

Each year on the eve of St. Nicholas Day (Dec 5th) our children are usually up late writing their letters to St. Nicholas and the Christ Child ✍️

We adopted this little tradition many years ago inspired by Maria Von Trapp: “… And there is still one very important thing to do for Advent. According to Austrian custom, every member of the family writes a letter to the Holy Child mentioning his resolutions for the weeks of Advent and listing all his wishes for gifts. This “Christkindl Brief” (letter to the Holy Child) is put on the window sill, from whence the Guardian Angel will take it up to heaven to read it aloud to the Holy Child…”

Our children just tuck their letters into their shoes or slippers on December 5th for St. Nicholas to deliver to the Christ Child.✨

St. Nicholas and his helper
Letters to St. Nick and Baby Jesus
A Letter to Baby Jesus

Eve of St. Nicholas resources: Letter to Baby Jesus Printable from Revolution of Love

Paper Twirled Manger and Star

A paper twirled Manger and Star ❤️

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Eve of St. Nicholas Feast

Reading their sweet letters is always my favorite! ❤️

I just realized many of the links were broken in our Advent post due to the transfer from Blogger.. They have been updated!

The Advent Season In Our Catholic Home

Andreasherzen (St. Andrew’s Hearts)

Have you ever tried making the recipe for Andreasherzen (St. Andrew’s Hearts) from Cooking with the Saints? It never turns out for me! Every attempt resulted in a batter too thick, leading me to improvise with extra liquid. I also rarely have white wine on hand so last year I opted for sparkling apple cider in addition to my other substitutions and modifications. The results were fantastic! topped with maple syrup and berries, it was a delicious treat for the feast of St. Andrew! Here’s our recipe:

 
Andreasherzen 
(St. Andrew’s Hearts)
 
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 TBS monkfruit
1/4 cup sparkling apple cider
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch salt
 
Beat eggs, add additional ingredients and beat all together. 

Here is the link to our waffle iron I use each year for our Andreasherzen (St. Andrew’s Hearts). I purchased it back in 2014 and it still works perfectly. It also has surprisingly not increased in price since back then, unlike everything else!

You can view the reel my daughter made last Advent over on Instagram!

Andreasherzen (St. Andrew’s Hearts)

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

✨ St. Andrew the Apostle, Ora Pro Nobis! ✨

Our 2023 Advent Book Basket and Free Labels

Each Advent brings the joyous anticipation of Christmas in our home, marked by our delightful traditions of counting down the days with our annual Advent Book Basket, our various Advent Calendars, and the Jesse Tree. In the earlier years, when we were just starting our own family collection, I turned to Christmas Mosaic for inspiration, borrowing Christmas books from the library to wrap for each day of Advent. Our home library has definitely flourished over the past couple decades and it continues to grow each year with the new books each child receives on the feast of St. Nicholas. (Check out this year’s St. Nick books here!)  

Over the years, our annual Advent Book Basket has included titles from Christmas Mosaic and a collection of our children’s 35 Favorite Christmas Picture Books—although it’s worth noting that their preferences may have changed since 2014! One year, I selected twenty-six favorites (with that personal favorite list growing every year), while another time, I handed over the reins to my husband and our oldest daughter for a delightful surprise. For additional inspiration, you can explore more curated lists from previous years: 2017201820192020, 2021 and 2022 or simply scroll through all past Advent Book Basket posts.

The length of Advent ranges from 22 to 28 days, beginning on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30th) and embracing four Sundays. The first day of Advent can fall as early as November 27th to as late as December 3rd. This year Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd—the latest possible start date—making it only three weeks and a day. In keeping with the unique duration, our Advent Book Basket for this year will include 22 wrapped books.

In the mix for this year’s Advent Book Basket are a handful of new books we were gifted from publishers, a couple of carefully chosen additions from my own book shopping, and a sprinkle of input from our 13- and 11-year-olds who eagerly recommended favorite books for their younger siblings. Here’s the complete list:

2023 Advent Book Basket

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Years ago, I traded our original purple and pink wrapping paper for a rustic touch—brown paper decorated with reusable purple and pink ribbons (saved annually). I occasionally repurpose brown paper bags or opt for a roll of brown craft paper from the craft store, pairing it with the ribbon and homemade labels.

In keeping with our tradition, we’ll unwrap and read one book each night during Advent, following our family rosary. The rest of our book collection will be placed in additional baskets, ready to be enjoyed throughout the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

If you’d like to use my little labels too, you can download my Advent Book Basket Labels for 2023 over at Dropbox.

Advent Book Basket Giveaway

And now for our annual Advent Book Basket Giveaway! I’m delighted to share five prize packages this year featuring books and music from five generous Catholic publishers. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to enhance your home collections with beautiful and inspiring picture books for children. Enter below for a chance to win and create lasting memories with these treasures.

Prize #1 – TAN Books

Includes: One Holy Marriage: The Story of Saints Louis & Zelie Martin (or on Amazon here) and Sister Clare Gets Ready for Prayer (or on Amazon here) sponsored by TAN Books (value $37.90)

Congratulations, Nikki H!

Prize #2 – Sophia Institute Press

Includes: Brides of Christ (or on Amazon here) and Christmas Merry and Bright (or on Amazon here) sponsored by Sophia Institute Press

Congratulations, Audie!

Prize #3 – St. Paul Center

Includes: All about Advent & Christmas: Sharing the Seasons of Hope & Wonder with Children and The Shepherd at the Crib and the Cross sponsored by St. Paul Center ($35.90 Value)

Congratulations, Alena F!

Prize #4 – Word on Fire Spark

Includes: Bless the Lord sponsored by Word on Fire Spark ($19.95 Value)

Congratulations, Marie G!

Prize #5 – Ignatius Press

Includes: Ishmael: The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem (or on Amazon here) sponsored by Ignatius Press ($14.99 Value)

Congratulations, Kristina N!

Please leave a comment on this post and then enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter Box below:

Note: If you have any trouble with Rafflecopter just send me an email or message with your name/email address and I can add you manually. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From the archives:

Feasts & Seasons :: Advent & Christmas Collection

Feasts & Seasons :: Our December Book Basket

35 Favorite Christmas Picture Books for Children

December :: Month Dedicated to the Divine Infancy

Christmas Mosaic :: A Review & Featured Book List

You can find the rest of our booklists here.

P.S. Enter this year’s Christmas Giveaway here!

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Dug up this gem after scrolling back 417 weeks! 🕰️✨ Sharing again for this Advent. This statue of our Blessed Mother has always been one of my favorites and perfect to go along with the Christmas Anticipation Prayer also known as the St. Andrew Novena. So hard to believe that the precious little one we were praying for back then is now six! 🤍

“Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle’s feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.” – EWTN

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Black Friday Sales and Coupon Codes

Hello there! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Check out this list of great Black Friday Sales with exclusive Shower of Roses coupon codes I’ve rounded up for you. Plus, don’t forget to enter my two ongoing giveaways (with two more on the way)! 🎁

(Note: Shower of Roses affiliate links – as an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you!!)

TAN Books – 40% off Sitewide https://lddy.no/1js8l

St. Augustine Academy Press – Save 20% with coupon code GRATIAS2023 – Good Nov 22nd through midnight Nov 27th, 2023 – https://staugustineacademypress.com?aff=4

Sophia Institute Press – now through Cyber Monday – when you spend $25, you’ll receive 30% off all in-stock products and FREE shipping* with code BLACKFRIDAY30https://sophiainstitute.com/ref/56/

Sock Religious – 20% off Sitewide – https://www.sockreligious.com/?rfsn=3419668.53fa43

Shining Light Dolls – Up to 50% Off, use SHOWEROFROSESBLOG for an additional 10% off – https://shininglightdolls.com/SHOWEROFROSESBLOG

Chews Life – Buy One Get One 30% Off All Products – https://chewslife.com/?rfsn=2021172.aea43c&utm_source=refersion&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=2021172.aea43c

Telos Art Shop – Free Gift with Qualifying Purchase, Also save 10% with coupon code ROSEShttps://telosartshop.com/?ref=roses

Holy Heroes – 20+ Items on Sale including Complete Glory Story Set PLUS SAVE 15% off your order with coupon code SHOWER15 through 12/5/23 – https://holyheroes.com?bg_ref=aaEZsYfc5m

Ignatius Press – 20% OFF* Storewide, Up to 50% OFF Select Titles, FREE Shipping on US orders of $70 & up – also Currently offering Buy one get one 50% off on certain series, Discount will be reflected in cart. https://www.kqzyfj.com/click-7387324-10294906

Almond Rod Toys – SALE 20% OFF Almost Everything, Use code ADOREMUS for 15% off www.AlmondRodToys.com through December 14th

Saintly Heart – Coupon code Roses15 for 15% of Regular Price Items – https://saintlyheartco.com?sca_ref=4374756.N1M28TtjMY

The Rose Picker – 10% off everything using code CHRISTMAS10 until 12/31/23 – https://tidd.ly/40UblWv

All About Learning Press – Free shipping on orders over $100! (No coupon code required!) – https://www.allaboutlearningpress.net/go.php?id=229

Check out the Shower of Roses Gift Guide and enter the Giveaway! This year I’m giving away 30 PRIZES with a combined value of $3,200! Enter by 11:59 PM on 12/5/23.

Also the Shower of Roses Annual St. Nicholas Giveaway – Six winners, enter by 11:59 PST on 11/26/23.

Bargain Priced Books: Get 3 for the Price of 2 Sale!

I am always on the look out for bargain priced books and Amazon is currently having another Get 3 for the Price of 2 Sale! 📚

There are so many great books included in this sale and it’s a perfect time to stock up on gifts for Christmas, Epiphany and Easter!  As I was scrolling though I compiled another list below of some of the books I have purchased over the years and a couple that are currently in my cart.  There are so many more and you can shop all items here

Please note:  All links are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Bargain Priced Books – Currently Priced Over $20

Bargain Priced Books – Currently Priced Between $10-20

Bargain Priced Books – Currently Under $10.00 

Bargain Priced Books – Christmas Books

Scroll through more children’s Christmas books.

For more ideas you can find last year’s updated list here.

St. Nicholas Day in the Morning

St. Nicholas Day in the Morning

-Pictures from St. Nicholas Day in the Morning 2023- Holy Bishop St. Nicholas lived farawayNear the Aegean Sea is where Turkey did lay.Travel back with us now to a time long ago.We will visit his country, his life we will know. Ostheimer Figures from our...

On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day

On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day

Each year on the eve of St. Nicholas Day (Dec 5th) our children are usually up late writing their letters to St. Nicholas and the Christ Child ✍️ We adopted this little tradition many years ago inspired by Maria Von Trapp: “... And there is still one very important...

Black Friday Sales and Coupon Codes

Black Friday Sales and Coupon Codes

Hello there! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Check out this list of great Black Friday Sales with exclusive Shower of Roses coupon codes I've rounded up for you. Plus, don't forget to enter my two ongoing giveaways (with two more on the way)! 🎁 (Note: Shower...

Prayer of Mothers

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.


Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

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.

My Other Blog: Catholic Cuisine

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