|Mary inserted her own wee gifts.|
Between when the shoes were laid out at the fireplace and when I went downstairs to fill them, Mary sneaked downstairs and put tiny gifts in each one (except her own): little toys of her own that she was giving to her siblings. She gave her daddy a five dollar bill from her money jar and me a St. Therese necklace. This touching gesture made me teary, so I dug around my belongings and found a little guardian angel pin that used to be my mother's which I put in Mary's shoe.
|Ready for the children to wake|
|My package from Mary|
This year was decidedly simple: we stuffed the children's shoes each with the traditionally symbolic orange, a candy cane, and chocolate coins, as well as a new brown scapular (as those do fall apart at least once per year). Also, I put in the St. Nicholas holy cards, which I actually bought years ago, collect back each year, and put them in their shoes anew the next year!
|Mama reading aloud "A Christmas Carol"|
Some years I've given more and bigger gifts, but this year all I bought was a beautiful hard cover copy of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens and illustrated by Roberto Innocenti. I will be taking the children to see the adaptation "Scrooge" at a local theater next week, so I intend to read the book aloud to them this week. I believe some afternoons of hot cocoa and popcorn will be in order!
We attended Mass followed by a festive potluck at which "St. Nicholas" made an appearance and the children's shoes were filled (again!). There was a table with a craft activity, older kids playing board games, younger kids on the playground, and so many beautiful, homemade St. Nicholas cookies.
|Ready for St. Nicholas to show up|