A Meaningful Baptism Gift Idea

It’s so hard to find just the right present for a Baptism. Something that will be meaningful (especially if you are the Godparent) but nothing too “trinkety” that doesn’t have a place in a house. If you’re looking for a special gift for your Godchild, I think you’ll like this idea.

a special baptism gift idea

I had seen people bringing their own shells for baptisms (rather than using the one at the church), but I couldn’t help but think “why would I want another ‘thing’ sitting around my house?” That’s when I came up with this idea. Basically, you turn the shell used at your child’s Baptism into a Christmas ornament. That ‘s way, it’s not just something that is ‘sitting around’, because it is packed up with the rest of the Christmas ornaments. It becomes somewhat of a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament.

Here’s how you pull this off. Either purchase one of those expensive Baptism shells from online somewhere, or go to your local craft shop, buy a big shell, and spray paint it gold. (That’s what we did). Bring it to the Baptism, and give it to the priest ahead of time. He will be pleasantly surprised that you care so much about your child’s Baptism! ;-) (When Anabelle was Baptized, we showed up with our own white stole, golden shell, and Baptism candle, all of which are usually provided by the church. Our priest was like, “Why did I even get anything out?”. lol!)

For some reason, shells spray paint beautifully! Here is Anabelle being Baptized with the shell.

baptism with golden shell

Here’s how I turned ours into a Christmas ornament. First, I hunted down some beads at Wal-Mart that I thought looked like water drops. I strung them through some clear string, and hot glued them to the back of the shell. (You could totally skip the beads if you wanted to.)

baptism christmas ornament- gift idea for catholic baby

Glue a loop of string at the top (so the ornament can hang) and add a bow to the front of the shell. Voila, you could totally be done right here! … Or….

christmas ornament for baptism

However, I absolutely adore sparkly Christmas ornament (because of how the lights on the tree bounce off the glitter) so I painted the front of the shell with some watered down glue and covered it in glitter.

homemade shell christmas ornament for baptism

Knock the extra glitter off and wait for it to dry. Again, you can be done at this step. …Or…. ;-)

You can print a picture of the baby on the day of their Baptism, along with the date, and glue it on the inside of the shell. In order to get mine to lay right, I first hot glued in a wad of tissue, then I glued the picture on top. I printed mine on card stock. I suppose if you really wanted it to hold up, you could laminate it before you glue it on, but I didn’t bother.

baby's first christmas ornament for baptism

Now, you really really could be finished…. OR…. ;-)

You could turn the front of the shell into an angel. Try googling “Angel Shell” and looking at the images- you’ll find plenty of inspiration! I made the angel’s wings by taking some white, wired ribbon, looping into one circle, and twisting in the middle. You can hot glue them behind the shell. The head is one of those big marble-thingies that’s flat on one side. Again- hot glue is your friend.

homemede angel shell ornamet for baptism

Now, you could stop here, … OR….

Only kidding. It’s really time to stop now. ;-)

I opted not to do the angel thing, so here’s our completed Baptism Christmas ornament hanging on the tree.

homemade baptism ornament

See how sparkly it is on the tree? I just love it! I’m very excited for Anabelle to have this keepsake. I think this is a great way to always keep this special memento around without it becoming a bother to keep up with, and it’s so special to see it once a year at Christmas time. :-)

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O Antiphon Ideas for Catholic Families- An Advent Tradition

The great thing about the O Antiphons is, they don’t start until December 17! That means even if you missed the boat with an Advent wreath or a Jesse tree, you’ve still got time for this! :-)

If you’re not familiar with the O Antiphons, or even if you are, I suggest that you read my page all about the O Antiphons before moving on. I want to be very clear that the O Antiphons are not like the Jesse tree in that the focus is not about having a “thing” where you move or hang something every day to celebrate these. However, a lot of people around blog-land have really cool things they’ve made that I would compare to a Jesse tree in that way. That’s a neat idea because you only have to build it once, and you would have it year after year. Here are some of my favorites.

o antiphon crafts and printables O Antiphon Crafts

O Antiphon Printable Prayers

  • This O Antiphon prayer companion is free to print, and is absolutely beautiful! (Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for the links. Even thought it says “updated 2012″, it’s good for every year.

O Come O Come Emmanuel- Printable Lyrics

Also, you can find all of my Advent and Christmas resources for Catholic families here.

The Advent Christmas Planner- available from Catholic Icing

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Easy Jesus Christmas Craft- Make A Sock Baby Jesus With No Sewing!!!

I know that this sock baby really looks like it has been sewn, but trust me, this is SO easy to make- it’s just cleverly put together and I’m going to show you how.

no sew sock baby Jesus craft for kids

I developed this craft for the preschool class I’m teaching at our homeschool co-op this year. My class is very young, so I wanted to make a cuddly Baby Jesus that they could hold and love. Mission complete. And I have to tell you, once my older kids saw the preschoolers coming home with these, they begged me to make their own, which we did that afternoon. They loved it, too!

Supplies Needed for Baby Jesus Sock Craft:

  • White Sock (we used children sized socks- long ones)
  • Sharpie Marker(s)
  • Blue Fabric Scraps or Felt
  • Rubber Bands
  • Stuffing
  • Paper Lunch Sacks (for manger)

These are so cheap and easy to put together that you should have no trouble at all making these with an entire classroom.

If you’re using old socks (like we did), start by bleaching them.

How to Make a No-Sew Sock Baby- step by step.

Stuff the sock about 2/3 full, and tie a knot in the sock, leaving some extra at the end.

hwo to make an easy sock baby without sewing

Fold the top part of the sock all the way over the stuffed part.

how to make a sock baby

Fold the very end of the sock up just a little to make a “hat” for the baby.

how to make a sock baby without sewing

Use a rubber band and wrap around the sock to make a neck between the head and body. You can tie a ribbon or string over the rubber band if desired to be cuter.

really cute really easy no sew sock baby

Draw a face on the sock with a sharpie.

how to make a no sew sock baby

Wrap in a fabric scrap for “swaddling clothes”.

sock baby jesus craft for kids

For my preschool class, I handed out the socks, put a bunch of stuffing on the table, and let them go for it!

stuffing sock babies with preschoolers

 Then me and my classroom assistant went around the table and helped one child at a time make their stock into a doll as the others continued to stuff. When one doll is finished, give that child a piece of fabric to swaddle their baby in so they can play with their baby while you help the others.

baby jesus in swaddling clothes craft for christmas

Next, it’s time to make the mangers! This is so cheap, easy, and simple. Each manger is made from exactly one paper lunch sack. Cut the bag at just around the bottom fourth, and stand it up to make a shallow rectangle. Take the remainder of the bag and cut up the 2 sides (on the fold lines) to make 2 long pieces. Then, cut the bag across width wide into strips to create the “hay” for the manger.

easy manger craft- how to make a manger from a paper bag

We then scattered the strips of “hay” all over the table, and let the preschoolers crumple up the strips of paper and fill their mangers for Baby Jesus.

christmas baby jesus craft for preschoolers

This craft can totally be used to do the thing where you add a piece of straw each time you do a good deed to make a soft bed for Baby Jesus during Advent. Here’s the final result!

easy baby jesus sock baby craft

super easy sock baby jesus christmas craft for preschoolers

All of the preschoolers in my class absolutely adored their little babies, and were so proud! As their families came to pick them up, the older siblings all looked like the wanted to make one too. I love how cuddly they are!

preschooler loving baby jesus sock craft

preschoolers love sock baby jesus

So there you have it. Super cute and easy craft for Advent or Christmas that is totally meaningful for kids. :-)

soft bed for baby jesus craft- religious craft for Advent and Christmas

Check out all of my Advent and Christmas posts here.

 Also, the winners of the prayer pillowcase giveaway have been emailed, so if you didn’t receive a notification and you’d still like to order some, now would be a great time! Also, you can get free shipping and free personalization on the pillowcases right now- see this post on Catholic Deals for details. :-)

One more thing- Angie from Catholic Mothers Online has started a new site called Catholic Printables Online that I am very excited about! You should click over and subscribe so you don’t miss any of her kids stuff.

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Printable Advent and Christmas Blessings for Catholic Families

Here’s a round up of printable blessings to use during Advent and Christmas time. (I really did my best to round-up printable versions, because I think gathering around a computer doesn’t have the same quaint feel to it. When you print these, be sure to add them to your Advent/Christmas planning binder so you don’t ever have to look them up or print them again. None of these blessings were created by me. I found them all on different sites and linked to my favorites.)printable advent blessings

Printable Blessing and Prayers for Advent Wreath- I found these printable Advent prayers. It’s easily printable, and includes a short blessing of the Advent wreath, along with a short prayer to add to dinner each night as you light the candles. If you’re looking for a more extensive initial blessing of the wreath, check out this printable page.

You can find all my Advent Wreath Posts here.

Printable Blessing of the Christmas Tree- Holy Heroes has a great printable Chrismas tree blessing. This one was hard to track down because a lot of the tree blessings were very long. I chose this one because it seemed “doable” at home with families with small children.

Printable Blessing of the Creche (Navitity Set)- Here is a printable version of a creche blessing.

You can find all my Nativity Set Posts here.

Blessing of the Candy Canes- Here is one that can be used any time during the seasons, and here is a candy cane blessing that is special for St. Nicholas day.

Printable Epiphany Door Blessing- This is a simple blessing for the Epiphany when you chalk your door. You can read more about this tradition here. You can take a piece of chalk to Mass with you and have the priest bless it. If you forget to have your chalk blessed, you can bless it yourself. Here is a prayer you can use to bless the chalk.

You can find all of my Epiphany Posts here.

 

All of my Advent and Christmas resources for Catholic families can be found here.

 

 

The Advent Christmas Planner- available from Catholic Icing

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