Thursday, November 14, 2013

New Christmas Books for the Feast of St. Nicholas


I've been busy finishing my Jesse Tree Swap Ornaments the past few days and finally, after staying up until way too late last night early this morning painting and assembling, got them wrapped and shipped this afternoon, barely making the deadline!  It took way longer than I thought it would to make 35 angel ornaments... I'm glad I participated though and we are all excited to see the other ornaments when our box arrives!


Anyways, every year on December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas, our children wake up to find their shoes or slippers filled with treats and chocolate gold coins (sometimes they even find new shoes or slippers if they are needed), along with a new Christmas Picture Book to add to our ever growing collection.  I just finished wrapping the books for this year with red paper, attaching a rose tag with each child's name.  Here's a peek at the books Sean and I choose for this year:


For Captain:
Letters from Father Christmas
Written by J.R.R. Tolkien? I couldn't resist!

"Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas. They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by Tolkien’s inventiveness in this classic holiday treat."


For Rascal: 

“From little things come big things,” Gail Halvorsen remembered his father saying. As a twenty-seven-year-old American pilot, Brother Halvorsen’s job was to airdrop much-needed food and supplies to the people of West Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. But it was his simple gift of two sticks of gum that launched an extraordinary humanitarian endeavor and earned him the nickname “The Candy Bomber.” Each day as hundreds of small white parachutes delivered treats to the children of West Germany, the wounds of war began to heal. “Operation Little Vittles” captured the imagination of people everywhere, bringing the spirit of Christmas to a world in need of peace and hope.  Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.."

For Twinkle Toes: 
Out of print, but so sweet if you can find a copy for a reasonable price!

"Christmas is a special time at Pumpkin House, where two dolls named Sethany Ann and Nicey Melinda live. Every Christmas they invite their friends to join them for an elegant dinner party and a marionette show. The dolls have fun getting ready for their party: they send out invitations to their guests by Sparrow Post, decorate their very own Christmas tree with silver nutmegs and golden pears, and prepare doll-size cookies and other treats for the party. Then at "candlelight-time" on Christmas Day the guests begin to arrive, and the evening isn't over until the last carol has been sung around the tree. Tasha Tudor's delightful tale captures all the charm and magic of an old-fashioned Christmas shared with your dearest friends. Beautifully illustrated in nostalgic watercolor paintings, this book will be treasured by generations to come."


For Chiquita:
Written by Hilda van Stockum (author of one of my boys' all time favorite books) I was so excited to see that this book has been republished!

"A beautifully illustrated book for the Holidays about Kersti, a mischievous little girl who is always misbehaving, much to the dismay of her six older sisters and parents. As St. Nicholas Day approaches, Kersti worries that she won't receive any gifts and sets out on an adventure."


For Snuggles: 
Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing 
Love, love, love this new book by Amy Welborn.  It is going to be perfect for our six year old! Be sure to enter the giveaway below to possibly win a copy!

"Alessandro is staying with his grandparents, who run a small shop that sells figures for the presepe (Nativity scene), while his parents look for work in another country. To help with the boy s loneliness, his grandfather encourages Alessandro to make his own figure of the baby Jesus. They will bring that figure to Rome in two weeks to have it blessed by the Holy Father on Bambinelli Sunday. Through the events that occur in the time leading up to receiving the blessing in St. Peter's Square, Alessandro comes to see his world in a new way, and receives the best surprise of all in the end. This book for children ages 7-10 tells a wonderful story about sharing, comfort, generosity, and forgiveness through the lens of a long-standing Italian tradition. The beautiful illustrations and timeless story make this a treasure Advent and Christmas resource for generations to come."


For Rose: 

"The traditional Christmas story is retold in gorgeous language which recreates the mystery and awe that filled the holy night when Jesus was born. From Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay for the night to the arrival of the three travelers from the East bearing rich gifts, this lovely book tells the first Christmas story. With beautiful, jewel-toned illustrations, this exquisite book will be treasured by any child who receives it. The perfect Christmas gift!"


For Bud: 

"From 12 drowsy doves to 7 soft sheep to 4 shaggy camels, this lovely board-book edition of Stable in Bethlehem celebrates the wonders of Christmas--with a counting concept built right in. Joy N. Hulme and Dan Andreasen, the team behind the Sterling picture book Easter Babies, perfectly capture the spirit of the season with gentle rhymes and softly hued, charming pictures. The ideal addition to any Christmas stocking!"


For Dad:
OOP - Imprimatur 1955 - I purchased a used copy on Ebay

"The kind of reading Catholic families need at Christmas—and can rarely find anymore. Charming illustrations that capture Christmas for your little ones—and a message for older children and adults on the real meaning of Christmas from one of the 20th century's best speakers: Fulton J. Sheen. Archbishop Fulton Sheen's charming retelling of the Christmas story makes a wonderful read-aloud for the whole family. Illustrated throughout in color. The late Archbishop offers food for thought for the older members of the family—thoughts that can be easily explained to the younger members with the aid of illustrations. (And these aren't the cartoonish illustrations we see in so many children's books these days, even in some Catholic children's books. These are illustrations which elevate and inspire while capturing a child's imagination.) Archbishop Sheen at his best."


For Mom:
Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting
After seeing a number of recommendations, this will be my reading this Advent.

"These Advent reflections by the abbess of a Poor Clare monastery, an accomplished spiritual writer, focus our attention on the coming of Jesus into our lives. There is a double movement to this coming; both our active preparation to be ready for him and our patient waiting for the Lord to arrive in his own good time. There is also an art to this simultaneous preparation and waiting, and no one knows better than the beloved Mother Mary Francis how to encourage us in our attempts to master this art. Meditating on passages from Scripture about the coming of the Messiah into the world and our hearts, Mother challenges us to persevere in overcoming our faults and keeping our eyes on the Lord who has called us to himself-for it is he, through the gifts of his grace, who will complete in us the work of sanctification which he has begun."


Additional New Book for the Family:

I always love finding books that go along with some of our Christmas baking!  Last year we had fun with The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher, Cookie Cutters Tell the Story of Christmas, The Baker's Dozen :: A Saint Nicholas Tale and Baking Cookies for the Feast!, The Twelve Days of Christmas and more!  This year our plans will include baking "Maggie's Favorite Cranberry Cookies" from the back cover of Cranberry Christmas!

Cranberry Christmas 
(... Now back in print along with Cranberry Thanksgiving!) 

"Old Cyrus Grape doesn't like children. And he insists that the skating pond is 'his.' Mr. Whiskers knows this isn't true, but since he can't prove it, there'll be no skating...not even on Christmas Day! That is...unless cleaning Mr. Whiskers' house uncovers some important information. This 1976 classic is back for a new generation of Devlin fans to enjoy, with Maggie's favorite cranberry cookie recipe on the back."

I am also curious about The Message of the Birds and Gifts of the Heart. I tried to preview copies at our local bookstore, but they didn't have them in stock.  If any one has seen them I'd love to hear your opinion. 

My favorite recently published Christmas themed picture book is definitely Bambinelli Sunday!  I would like to give a copy to one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses for Advent! 




Enter the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the rest of our Christmas picture books listed in the archives
*I'll have this year's Advent Book Baskets up soon along with a giveaway for a signed copy of Christmas Mosaic!

153 comments:

  1. Thank you for the giveaway what a charming book. I just finished our ornaments today as well we are so excited!

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  2. Thank you for the suggestions! I usually get my son and daughter a couple from your kids' list since mine are kind of in between your four oldest in age. Always a hit.

    And thank you for the chance for Bambinelli Sunday. My grandmother was from Italy and I always try to include some of her family's traditions for my kids. We still have her old, old presepe from Italy.

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    1. How neat!! My great-grandfather (on my mom's side) was from Italy! :)

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  3. We celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas by watching the CCC St. Nicholas DVD, reading his bio from our saint book, and going onto http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/how-to-celebrate/ to find coloring pages/crafts. I would love to get into the feast day even more this year!

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    1. I love CCC's Nicholas! Just last year we finally upgraded my childhood VHS to a new DVD for our children! :)

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  4. My daughter puts out her shoes the night before the feast of St. Nicholas. She receives gold coins and candy canes, along with a simple, religious gift (book, ornament). We have a special breakfast and read a St. Nick book together. We do some baking as well, and share it with others. He is one of her favorite saints and is always included in her bedtime litany! Thanks for this post! I was just about to finalize some book choices for Advent and Christmas.

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  5. Thank you, Jessica--these are great!

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  6. Hello there! :) What a lovely giveaway! We celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas by sharing his story with our children.

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  7. We put out our shoes - I think my kids love it almost more than Christmas!

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  8. Thank you for the chance Jessica! You are inspiring me to start thinking about Advent and Christmas! God bless! Marianne

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  9. This one is on my list! I'd love to win a copy to save for our new baby boy. I sent you a text tonight...go check!

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    1. Okay! Off to find my cell phone and charge it... I'm pretty sure the battery is dead again! ;)

      Congratulations again on your little boy! I am so so so excited for you!!!

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  10. I always love seeing your book recommendations, Jessica! There are a couple here that I already have on my wish list, including "Kersti and Saint Nicholas." :-) Thanks for the chance to win "Bambinelli Sunday!" I've also been eyeing that one!

    P.S. Thanks also for posting this early enough, to remind me to begin my own Advent plans!! :-)

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  11. My child is 3 and this is the first year we will be celebrating by reading stories of ST Nicholas and putting a treat in her shoes.
    Erika Rios-Lindemann

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  12. In our house, the kids have woken up to find new socks, slippers, or a winter hat...whichever one happens to be needed. We also try to set up the Christmas tree on this day.

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  13. I love all the books you post about! Thank you so much for all your hard work!

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  14. We fill the children's stockings with fruit and chocolate coins and cookie mixes which we then spend the day baking together :)

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  15. I have been so delighted by your idea of a book a day through Advent. But when I pulled all my books together, I only had 10! I'm hoping to get some from the library, but they only let us have a week at a time during the season, so I won't be able to have them all wrapped a sitting out. Anyway, if I win this book, that will but me at 11! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas. I wish you lived next door! ;-)

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  16. Thanks for the chance to win Bambellini Sunday! I've seen it here and there on the web recently and the reviews look great! My son is also 6 and I think he'd love it. I'm making mental notes of the books you select for your older boys too--for me it gets harder and harder to think of gifts for boys the older they get, but I think he'd like the military themed holiday books.

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  17. Would love to add this book to our collection!

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  18. Great post, Jessica! There are many here that you listed that are new to me. Yay! Love new books and you are a very trusted source. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

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  19. Our oldest is almost 3 so we're working on starting some traditions- I love the idea of books!

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  20. I love it. So many wonderful books. God Bless you!

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  21. Thank you for all the time you devote to this blog. I receive so much inspiration from you. Thanks again. I wanted to share how we celebrate St. Nicholas Day. The night before we read stories about St. Nicholas from the books we have collected over the years. The children get so excited they find it hard to get to sleep. When they wake up they find a plain red or green Christmas stocking at the foot of their beds. Each stocking is tide with a Happy St. Nicholas Day message and a vintage Father Christmas/St. Nicholas ornament. Inside the stocking is the same thing every year and although they grow older each year, I can't even think about changing the contents, "it's a tradition". We include an orange, walnuts, chocolate coins, a candy cane, a small toy, coloring book and crayons and a new pair of mittens. I buy extra oranges, walnuts, coins and candy canes. I set the kitchen table with a St. Nicholas statue in the middle of the advent wreath and surround the wreath with all the extra oranges etc. We have cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for breakfast. It's a beautiful day.

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  22. Our kids set out their boots and receive treats for St. Nicholas' feast day. I often read a story and leave new stories under their boots. This is a LOVELY book for your give away!!

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  23. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway! I always enjoy reading through your ideas.

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  24. I always look forward to your book recommendations. I was just looking at Bambinelli Sunday on Amazon and then came over here to review what you had written about it (I think you had it in an earlier post) and found this giveaway instead ... what timing! We leave out our shoes for St. Nicholas Day and what they find in them is always a surprise.

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  25. Thank you so much for your booklists like these. We are slowly growing our home library... There are so many good books!! Thanks for the drawing ;)
    We hang our stocking for St. Nick and leave a note/prayer for him to find. Hopefully, we don't get (chocolate) coal the next morning!! But on occasion, someone does, and St. Nick always reminds them they can work harder to prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ. St. Nicholas, Pray for us!

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  26. I have bought a new Christmas book each year since my oldest was born. I pulled out all our Christmas books last night with my oldest daughter's help. We are a little short of 25 (since my oldest is only 16) so we need to buy a few more books. I am planning to wrap them with the children during our Thanksgiving holiday. I have been looking in your archives for good ideas. Thanks for the great suggestions for boys! It gets harder to get a teen excited!

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  27. Thank you for the chance to win! We, too, give our kids new books for the feast of St. Nicholas. I used to always include their new books as part of their Christmas present, but we found they appreciated them more and had more time to spend with them if given earlier.
    I have some of Amy Welborn's other books and love them. I'm sure this one will be no different!
    God Bless your ministry here,
    Corrine

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  28. What a great book list!! Last year I hosted a St. Nicholas party. I made the St. Nicholas cookies and made Lulo cider (lulo is a local citric fruit) which came out quite nice. :) I made up little laminated prayer cards of St. Nick and a candy cane for each child to take home. This year is going to be a little more low key. Here in Colombia there is a big celebration for the eve of the Immaculate Conception which is called La Alumbrada or Noche de las Bellas. Everyone (as well as public places such as stores, parks etc...) lines their frony yard with candlelit lanterns of all shapes, sizes and designs. Anyhow, i thought you might like hearing about a local Catholic tradition.....
    Would love to be entered into the competiton for Bambellini Sunday! Thank you!

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  29. All of these books look great! Thanks for the chance to win one! Curious about the Cranberry Christmas recipe. :) 3lipps@cox.net

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  30. Jessica, I so love how you share all of these wonderful book titles with your readers. We have 4 "littles" and are just starting to build our collection of "good" books. We would love to add this one! Thank-you!
    Louise in Canada

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  31. As usual your book finds are brilliant! Thanks!

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  32. These books sound great! We have a few of them, including Fr. Christmas by Tolkien. It is definitely one of my kids' favorites.

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  33. I just ordered some new books last week for my children for Saint Nicholas day!! I always get so excited to start preparing for Advent/Christmas/Epiphany! Can't wait to see your angel ornaments in the swap - I just sent mine in today too, so you're not the only one who waited til the last minute, ha! ;)

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  34. Fantastic books! We always look forward to St. Nicholas Day too! Would love to add another Amy Welborn book to our collection!

    Jacinta

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  35. The kids set their shoes out the night before hand, which are usually filled with orange slices (the candy version). Since St. Nicholas was charitable by giving what a family or person was in need of, each person in our family receives one package to open that is an item that they needed (shoes, underwear, t-shirts, socks, etc.) Thank you so much for the beautiful book giveaway opportunity!

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  36. Thanks for sharing your book lists! We always benefit greatly from them :)

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  37. Hello:) Hoping to win the giveaway!

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  38. Thank you for the inspiration you have been to me and my family since we started following your blog. May God richly reward your sacrifices to keep up on this blog.

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  39. Haven't heard of the Candy Bomber sounds promising! thanks for sharing your list! always love to read book lists:) How do you 'find' the books? Do you have any good lists to recommend?

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    1. The Candy Bomber book was just released a couple weeks ago and since my boys enjoy stories about the wars (and have been studying WWII) I thought it would be perfect for one of them. It is getting harder to find books for them as they get older!

      To answer your question, I usually just search, and read lots of reviews when possible, to figure out if a certain book is something that might be a good fit for our family. Occasionally I do end up returning books... This year I sent back E is for Eucharist (I thought it was going to be great but didn't care for some of the illustrations) and I am planning on returning The Christmas Cat (I had considered it for Roes, but Sean & I didn't care for the story).

      I also love keeping an eye on the "New Releases" and "Coming Soon" categories for books - always watching for new titles and old books that are being reprinted. Speaking of which you are going to have to try and get a copy of Saint Felix and the Spider! Ours came today and it is just lovely!

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    2. Dear Jessica, do you mean "the Christmas Cat" board book by Su Box? I would really like to know what part of the story you didn't care for, as it was one of our first Christmas books for our now-5-yr-old. Thank-you :) Thank-you for spending so much time on your posts, they are so very special and so, so much appreciated!!!

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    3. No, I was referring to a newly published book: The Christmas Cat by Maryann Macdonald.

      Most of the illustrations are lovely (other than the screaming baby Jesus in many of the pictures) and I really was excited that it was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's La Madonna del Gatto. What I didn't like is that the whole story is about how only this cat was able to comfort baby Jesus, not the Blessed Mother, not any of the animals, just the cat. When they Holy Family flees they can't find the cat and Joseph says they need to leave anyways, Jesus cries again and "Mary held Jesus close, hoping the rocking gait of the donkey would lull him to sleep. But Jesus needed his cat. He clenched his small fists and screamed." The cat shows up, calms Jesus down and they live happily ever after... It's just not the type of story I want to share with my children.

      I actually have never seen the board book you mentioned. How do you like it?

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    4. Okay, that makes more sense; it didn't seem right at all, but when I saw the title I just couldn't help but wonder.

      Oh, I don't think I would like that story, either!! :(

      The board book that we have we got from EWTN, and it has a very, very simple storyline. All of our little ones have loved it, especially as it has a little pop-in kitty that you take to every page with you - and it seems like "Kitty" is always one of their first words! The cat is just a wondering observer of the events that are taking place in the innkeeper's stable. "That night, baby Jesus is born. Mary and Joseph are very happy." I never really looked too deeply into it, and the little ones liked the pictures of the animals. Looking over it, I have probably added to the last page, while reading -"The shepherds know Jesus is special. He is God's promised king." - that Jesus is also the Son of God, God Himself.
      The real downside is that after four years, the ribbon that attached the cat piece to the book got ripped out, and I have to figure out how to get it attached again...

      Thank-you so much for your reply!!

      God bless :)

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  40. Thanks so much for sharing your new books, Jessica! I especially like the one about the candy bomber- it's nice to see a book that an "older" boy would like! God bless, Sherri

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  41. thanks for the inspiration! I started this tradition with my kids last year and they loved it! I just ordered these books =) can't wait!

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  42. Oh wow, what a fabulous list of books! Thank you for posting this. Now I'm off to lengthen my wish list on Amazon...

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  43. I've been perusing the archives to get our list this year ready, but really looking forward to your updated post soon:) God Bless!

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  44. Thanks for the chance to win this book as it is on my list! I always am so thankful for your selections as they are always great. We celebrate a birthday in our family on St. Nicholas' feast as well though even my older children still enjoy waking up to find chocolate coins and a book! Thanks for your suggestions. God bless you and your family. Dawn in NJ
    brizeka@optonline.net

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  45. The kids put out shoes and they receive a book, a clementine, and a chocolate. We read books about Saint Nicholas, color, eat fun food. I hope you will write a post to show us all the Jesse tree ornaments:)

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  46. I appreciate and look forward to your book lists! Thanks for sharing.

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  47. I truly hope to win, and I love the new rafflecopter style giveaways, I'm glad your using it!

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  48. I always love looking through your list of books - gives me great ideas for my own (much younger) children! I can't wait until my oldest begins to enjoy Tolkien!

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  49. beautiful list. thank you! We give new socks and choc. coins on St. Nicholas day

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  50. My wish list is growing as I type! Thankyou!

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  51. Thank you for the giveaway. It is always neat seeing the new books and I always find some to add to our collection as well. Thanks!

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  52. When I was young, my parents had my brother and I set out a pair of shoes filled with carrots for St. Nicholas's white horse on Dec 6th. At some point during dinner, St Nicholas would loudly knock on the front door. My brother and I were equally excited and terrified to go check the door…and by the time we checked, he was always long gone. But a sack (pillowcase) was always on the doorstep with oranges, pistachios, German chocolates, either a stick or piece of coal (to remind us we can always work on our behavior), and a small wrapped gift for each of us. I am now 41 yrs old and raising my family in the same house where I grew up…I have a standing arrangement with a neighbor to knock on my door every year at dinnertime on the 6th. My children have the same excitement/fear that my brother and I had! Thank you for giving me a space to write this.

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  53. The kids find their shoes filled with treats on St. Nicholas Day, they also receive a new DVD or Book to share about Christmas. Thanks for the chance to win. Ann

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  54. You are amazing, you know that, right?

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  55. What a great new selection of books. Thanks for showing these great new finds!

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  56. These books sound wonderful! Would you mind writing your children's ages so I can know around what age group each book is for. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thanks Kari! Our children's current ages are actually listed in the sidebar right underneath our family photo, though you might be reading along on a phone and they wouldn't show up... Hmmm... I will try and update the post this evening, but in the meantime here you go: Captain-13, Rascal-11, Twinkle Toes-10, Chiquita-8, Snuggles-6, Rose-3 & Bud-1 Hope that helps!

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  57. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  58. The Feast of St. Nicholas is extra special in our home--my children are 25% Dutch. I always buy Dutch chocolate coins for them. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  59. Thank you for your generous giveaway!

    Blessings,
    RMann
    ryashiki@hotmail.com

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  60. A great selection of new books... now I want one of each too! ;-)

    Thanks for the give-away -- hope I win!

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  61. What wonderful books ideas and Joyful for that special day..thanks for a chance to win such a lovely story book
    rhangels1@yahoo.com

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  62. Thank you for the chance to win! Love your BLOG!

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  63. All these books look great! I especially like the one by Fulton Sheen.
    Thanks,
    Kate

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  64. These books are beautiful! Thank you for all of the ideas!

    God Bless,
    Emily

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  65. Thanks for more great book ideas! I've already gotten a couple of really good titles I'd never read before.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

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    1. Thanks for posting all your great book ideas! I've had my eye on this new book. Would love to win!
      Bridget M

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  66. I love your "book" lists and the idea of a monthly/seasonly "book basket". We're working on incorporating it in our day to day lives.

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  67. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your family traditions!!

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  68. I love you books lists. Always very helpful!

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  69. Wonderful books--I am hoping to collect a few of these this year!

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  70. We do stockings on St. Nicholas day. The kids always get an ornament and festive pajamas to wear through advent/Christmas.

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  71. Like you, we leave out the shoes, which are then stuffed with chocolate gold coins, wrapped Advent/Christmas books, and toys. We also have varied it, using the stockings--instead of shoes--for St. Nicholas Day (instead of for Christmas). We also have a child who was born on St. Nicholas Day, so we always have a birthday party too. =)

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  72. Each child leaves out one shoe, and usually it is filled with chocolate coins and a new book. This year I was thinking of a couple of gold dollars for the bigger kids!

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  73. Thank you Jessica! We love books so I always enjoy your books lists. I'm so grateful that you take the time to share your ideas and resources online and I have referred many people to your site. Blessings to you and your beautiful family :)

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  74. I am learning so much about the traditions and customs of our Catholic feast days from your blog. I think I'll try some of these ideas with my children this year.
    Thank you and especially for continuing with your absolutely wonderful blog. I really look forward to reading it. God bless you and your family always.

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  75. Thank you Jessica for always giving so many wonderful ideas! I highly value your opinion and your books are always spot on!

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  76. Beautiful book; if I don't win it :o) I will buy it for sure! :o) Becky

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  77. Thank you so much for these recommendations, Jessica! I read the Tolkien aloud one Christmastide to the family - the illustrations are delightful. I had been eying Bambinelli and the von Stockum books and given the current state in my house I just might need the candy bomber book too. Best of all the Mother Mary Francis sounds just perfect for Advent - she writes beautifully. Thank you!!

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  78. I wait for this post every year! Thank you for the wonderful recommendations.

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  79. I love your wonderful book selections and I would love to win one!

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  80. Just came across your book list and can't wait to delve in. Thanks for the great book ideas.

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  81. As always, Jessica, you have such wonderful ideas. These books look beautiful. Thank you for sharing and for the gift ideas!
    -F

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  82. Jessica, I always look forward to the books you choose. I have boys who are around your boys' ages. I am always on the lookout for good books for them.

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  83. Thanks so much! Love your books :) St Nicholas day is huge here and you always give me even more ideas :)

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  84. Thank you Jessica for all the hard work and dedication you put into homeschooling your children, inspiring other Catholic families, and witnessing to the faith! I have used many of your suggestions and ideas in my own family and continue to come back for more! God Bless!

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  85. Looks like a lovely book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  86. In the last few days I have also begun organizing our Advent and Christmas season books. Now it's time to find some chocolate coins for our three little girls to find in their slippers left outside their bedroom door for St Nicholas Day. Thank you for a chance at another wonderful giveaway!

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  87. Thanks for the book titles. I would love to read some of these books to my 1st graders.

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  88. This will be my first year celebrating St. Nicholas's feast day. I am planning to fill my children's shoes with chocolate gold coins and little Santa chocolates that I'm going to make look like St. Nicholas, as well as giving them a few other small things. I hadn't decided for sure what that would be, but I like the idea of a new book for each of them!

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  89. Thanks for the giveaway and your wonderful blog. You are such a blessing!

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  90. Sounds like a great book! I'd love a copy!
    angiepetrolia@bellsouth.net

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  91. I love this list. I have some of them, but the rest I will have to add to my list of books-to-buy.

    Christina
    schola.athenarum@gmail.com

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  92. I am so grateful for your book reviews and recommendations!

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  93. These are great books! Thank you for the offer!!!
    Jennifer
    jennyann1126@yahoo.com

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  94. Thanks for the post! Love this book list...

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  95. I love, love, love your blog! My 4 sisters and my mom and I are constantly talking about this blog! When my mom asked for suggestions for my kids for Christmas, I told her "anything from shower of roses!"

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  96. Thank you for taking the time to give us previews of the books you choose. It's so helpful!

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  97. My mom collects Christmas books, and I enjoy expanding her collection (as well as my own). Love your suggestions!

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  98. How fantastic, thanks for the giveaway! Even if I don't win I might have to add it to our collection. ;) We give books (sometimes religious/family videos) for St. Nicholas' day too, but oftentimes only a couple or so for the whole family. It's such a fun tradition and each year everyone looks forward to getting out the books with lots of "ohhhh, I remember this one!! It's my favorite!!" :)

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  99. Jessica, I always love your book recommendations! And thanks for the giveaway-I hope to have a couple things planned for the kids come St. Nicholas day and a few books and treats for everyone!

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  100. Love the inspiration your blog provides! Thank you.

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  101. Thanks for the giveaway, and sharing your ideas!

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  102. Last year we did the shoes...not sure if I am up for so much this year, which I feel bad about, but it has been a long fall already...would like to do something small though each day, so we shall see...

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  103. Thank you, Jessica, I always love reading your book lists (and gift lists, too! Hope those are coming up!!)

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  104. Thank you for sharing these books and this giveaway.

    Last year we didn't celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas with our daughter because she was too young, but now that she is a year old we might try leaving some chocolate for her to find.

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  105. My maiden name is Nichols and we always celebrated St. Nicholas Day with a surprise and a special treat in our shoes. My husband and I have continued this tradition in our family. Each year our children get a new ornament based on something that was eventful or special to them during the year. They also get some St. Nicholas chocolate coins;)

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  106. We secretly make around 200 bags of homemade treats. On the feast of Saint Nicholas while the Seminarians are at evening prayer we sneak in (with the rectors blessing of course) to the dining hall and leave the bags at the tables for the young men. Then we sneak out without being scene. This will be our 5th year doing this. Such fun! :)

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  107. I always appreciate your book suggestions. I have chocolates and new books for the feast of St. Nicholas.

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  108. I love seeing the books you choose for your children! Am anxious to see my kids' reaction to their new books this year!

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  109. We celebrate with chocolate coins and books as well. This book looks great.

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  110. Hi Jessica. Thanks for the great book suggestions!

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  111. We love the celebrations during advent. There are some colorful and exciting traditions!

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  112. We always hang our stockings the night before and in the morning they are filled with little St. Nicholas treats-oranges, gold coins, and I always put in a chocolate St. Nicholas, too. We usually read books about St. Nicholas and then make handprint ornaments and paint them to look like St. Nick!

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  113. What a wonderful list of books! I'm always looking for new Advent/Christmas books to add to our collection. Thanks for the giveaway. Kim F.

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  114. Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration! You are the #1 place I visit to get ideas when it comes to celebrating feasts and celebrations in my own little domestic church! Thanks for the opportunity to win this lovely book. It looks great!

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  115. I saw a copy of this book this summer after some sister friends of mine brought it back from a conference. It is a beautiful book!
    Jennifer I.

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  116. looks gorgeous. We just moved back to the States after a year in Rome and it makes me a little Romesick :)

    We put shoes out for candy on St. Nicholas' eve.

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  117. Thanks! Great post filled with excellent books :)
    --Erin

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  118. This year my husband and I want to give our kids new slipper socks in addition to the candy thanks to your inspiration. I love all the books as well!

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  119. I have a question concerning your books- When you give them to each child, do you write a dedication in them before you give them, such as "To Rose, Christmas 2013, etc.?" Do you plan on saving them for each specific child for them to have for their own families, or do you plan on keeping them "at Grandma's house" to read with grandchildren when they visit you? I know this may seem like a long way away to you, but I swear that I blinked and my oldest is now 27!!
    Thanks so much for your timely review, Sherri

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    1. Hi Sherri! Yes, I do add a dedication to each of the children and plan to give them their books once they have children of their own. Sometimes I forget to write in them before they are wrapped, but I go back and add it later so I can remember which books belong to who, even though the kids always seem to remember and always get excited if one of their books gets unwrapped during Advent to read as a family. :)

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  120. I love Amy's books and know I would adore this one as well. Thank you!

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  121. I would love to win this book!
    -MM

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  122. Wow! Thank you for all these great posts! Not having been brought up in a Catholic home, I find myself always looking for ideas to celebrate the liturgical year in a meaningful way. Fortunately my children are still pretty young (1 & 3 yrs.), so I'm still not too late to get my act together. You are an inspiration!
    God bless,
    Gabi

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  123. I'm not sure i have a favorite book, but I love An Orange for Frankie!

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  124. So many fantastic books.
    Blessings,
    Em

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  125. Thanks for such an inspiring blog! You are so generous with your thoughts, ideas, and giveaways. Blessings and peace! paasche060703@cox.net

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  126. We just started celebrating St. Nicholas' feast day. So far we've filled their shoes with real coins and homemade candy. Then we have made the puppets from Catholic Icing and read about St. Nicholas...Simple, but fortunately, the children enjoy it!

    Blessings,
    Marisa M

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  127. I don't know how you find these great books but thank you for sharing them!

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  128. This looks like a heartwarming story and thank YOU for the opportunity to win this lovely book.
    Debbie (dutchiris15@hotmail.com)

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  129. Thanks for all the neat little giveaways you host :) Our family is inspired by this blog !

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  130. I would love to add this book to our collection. sweetpeagirl3@hotmail.com

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  131. Thank you for sharing; your blog is very inspiring!

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  132. What a great giveaway - would love this book for our collection! We set our shoes out the night before and then I fill the kid's shoes with chocolate coins (found some not too gross ones at Trader Joes this year!), and a small treat or two. This year both my kiddos are getting new pairs of slippers.

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  133. We leave our shoes out the night before and wake up to a piece of candy in them.

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  134. We celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day with new Advent/Christmas books and a tea party! We put some little things in the shoes and usually include a toothbrush ;) lol
    Donna Marie
    child of mary 2002 at yahoo (dot) com

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  135. Christmas Eve and stockings are at my in-laws home and my mil loves to fill our daughters' stockings. So for St. Nicholas Day I fill stockings instead of shoes, giving more room to add a few extra items which would otherwise be in their Christmas stockings and a reason/excuse to hang stockings which wouldn't be used at our home at all.

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  136. Hello! :) :) Thank-you so very much!!!!!

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  137. Looks like a beautiful book!

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