Christmas Shopping on My Mind… Yes, Already.

editor’s note:  This is a VERY long entry and it is written mostly for me! (well, I suppose that is true for all my entries) It is not only long, but it is probably boring as well.  consider yourself warned!

I’ve got Christmas shopping on my mind.  Before I dive into that, let me ask you all a question:

Are you looking for a nice rosary?

No, I mean a really nice, well made, quality set of beads. Maybe a chaplet? How about a nice bracelet? I would like to introduce you to Miracoli Beads. Jennifer at Miracoli offers very nice, high quality rosaries, chaplets and jewelry. She is a Catholic homeschooling mom who pours herself into her beautiful creations. Go check out her site!

I am ordering 3 custom rosaries from Jennifer for my 3 girls for Christmas. Yes, yes, they’ll get music, or an iPod or a digital camera or some really cool, must-have toy, but this year the budget is a bit more generous, so it is time to invest in a quality set of beads for them. I like that Miracoli products come with a lifetime warranty. Jennifer says, “As long as I’m breathing, have the use of my mind and of my hands, I will repair your item” She really backs up her workmanship! Further, if my girls were to damage them, she will only charge me for the parts required to fix the rosary, not for her labor. You cannot find a better policy than that anywhere. And let me just add that she is one of the nicest, funniest women I’ve ever met.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales go to support various ministries. This is from her “Giving” link on her website:


As a military family, we are frequently asked what people can send to deployed Soldiers to boost their morale and make deployments easier. Our answer is first to please pray for all our military and their families. We are excited to be able to do something more in addition to prayer.

The Priest shortage is everywhere, but it’s really apparent and painful for the deployed Catholic Soldier or Seekers in search of the truth. Now there is something that you can do to help your Brothers and Sisters who are deployed in defense of our nation. 10% of all proceeds from your purchase directly support deployed Catholic Soldiers & Seekers by providing Catholic Answers NAB bibles and Catholic cd’s that will help to form and strengthen their faith–two action items that can have a tremendous impact when access to a Priest is most likely limited.


Each year, the “junior board of directors” of Miracoli Beads will choose a worthy cause to support for one year. In this, our first year, we have chosen to build a house for a poor family through Food for the Poor. This is a huge goal–$2600–but we think that it’s a tremendously worthy one and that, with the grace of God and help from you, we can do it together. 10% of proceeds of every sale, no matter how big or small go directly towards realizing this goal. We beg your prayers and invite your support in turning this dream into a real home for a real family who desperately needs it. Come be Jesus with us!

Two of my favorite causes… supporting military priests and personnel and Food for the Poor. I’m terribly excited to be in on building that house and helping those priests and soldiers.

I am sure some of you are wondering why I’m “rushing” into Christmas. I am not really. I have Christmas shopping on my mind because it is always my goal to do as much as I can before the end of the liturgical year so that I can celebrate Advent more fully. I don’t always get as much done as I hope, but I do try at least.

Shopping for a family with 6 children is a quite a big deal. So that is why I’m already dealing with it. I do the shopping for the grandparents, too. We all find it easier to “coordinate” things if I just do it for them. So they send me money and I make a “gift matrix” (see this: picture-8.png for a totally made up sample… I print 2:  one to take shopping and one to write in final decisions PLUS a “code number” to keep snoopers at bay.) This really helps me to make sure there aren’t any missing gifts.

I am finding it more important than ever to start early after the rash of Made in China recalls. I just want to avoid things Made in China. (and this has nothing to do with the human rights violations, which are grievous and real, but about which I have an unpopular opinion and philosophy among many of my Christian peers.) It is also important to do as much as possible as early as possible because my husband will be coming home for his R&R soon and I’d like to not have to worry too much about that sort of thing while he’s here. Shopping might be something we can do together, but I don’t think that either of us wants to spend great gobs of his R&R time on shopping.

In my quest to avoid things Made in China for my family this year, I have found a beautiful alternative in the Miracoli Beads rosaries that will last my girls a lifetime. If they take care not to lose them, they will never need another rosary. I think that’s fabulous. I will be knitting up some felted pouches for them to keep their rosaries in (also not MiC!) I love finding a gift I can really feel good about. Of course, “the boy” who will be just shy of 2 at Christmas (he was due on Christmas and missed by almost 3 weeks, little stinker!) will not need a rosary so I am looking into quality wooden toys (European made) for him. (Moolka Toys, Oompa Toys and FatBrain Toys all carry Haba and Selecta Spielzeug and many other European made toys. There are some nice heirloom quality toys at Heirloom Wooden Toys [I especially like the Kitchens they offer.]) I just don’t want to deal with the MiC/lead paint problems. It will take quite a bit more time for me to be comfortable allowing my kids to play with toys MiC.

In addition to the iPhoto book that we will be sending our parents this year, (which reminds me…. I have to get working on that!) I have decided to give gifts to our families that support the mission and work of Food for the Poor. I can buy “Three Little Pigs” or a goat or feed a family of 4 for a month in honor of our parents. How cool is that?

So, that is something that is weighing heavily on me as we head into the second half of October. With our trip, my husband’s trip home, and our oldest son’s 30 days leave all coming before I know it, I really need to get it together so it doesn’t all fall apart!

So I find myself, today, preparing for Advent, which is a preparation for Christmas.  It will be a difficult Advent and Christmas season this year with my husband gone, but it will be wonderful, too because my son will be here this year.  After not having him with us last year, I’m going to appreciate his presence so very much.  As always, it’s a mixed bag!

If you read all of that, you’re either glutton for punishment and boredom or you are very kind to your blogging friend to have taken an interest in my ramblings.


About becomewhatyouare

Catholic, Middle-Aged, Knitting-Addicted, Wife, Homeschooler, Mom of 6, Mom-in-Law to 1, Mother of 11 little saints, Grandma to 1, Godmother to 12, Foster Mom to 5, Army mom, Happily living in Texas!
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2 Responses to Christmas Shopping on My Mind… Yes, Already.

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much, Sue, for your kind, kind words! I am delighted and a bit embarrassed all at the same time, but very excited to be working with you. I predict much laughter ahead. : )

    And I need to check out your shopping matrix thingie–**love** that!

  2. Pingback: » Christmas Shopping on My Mind… Yes, Already.

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