Today is St. Nicholas Day! In the small town where I grew up, many of the families were of Dutch ancestry, and we all celebrated St. Nick's Day. If you weren't Dutch and were new in town, you likely started celebrating St. Nick's Day because your children probably came home from school crying because they didn't have a visit from St. Nicholas. :o)
This morning, our kids woke up to stockings filled with gold/chocolate coins (to remember how St. Nicholas loved Jesus and gave his money to poor children, or to pay dowries for poor girls). They also found Hello Kitty and Star Wars Pez dispensers, gum, candy canes, and their annual ornament (so they will have a collection for their own Christmas tree when they leave home). K's stocking was filled this year, too!
But after the kids left for school, Peter and I got the best gift -- we received two unexpected new photos of K from our agency! We thought we might only have her referral photo until the day we met her . . . but there was another agency visiting her orphanage, and our wonderful case worker asked them if they could squeeze in time to take a picture.
I want SO BADLY to post her photo online . . . but I will be a good, rule-obeying mama and not post any pictures until we have guardianship. I can tell you that she looks healthy and curious, and has huge eyes with llooooonngg eyelashes! Her hair is very short (as it was in her 10-month-old photo), and I don't know if it's naturally short, or if they keep all of the children's hair short for health/ease of care reasons. I can't wait to show the kids her new pictures after school . . .
And I wanted to share another book recommendation -- it's a Nativity book illustrated with people of color!!! Baby Jesus, as you can see, is a lovely shade of brown and has brown eyes, Joseph looks like an African man, Mary has brown skin and black hair, one of the Wise Men is Asian . . . it's a Christmas miracle! ;)
Seriously, I love this book. We found it at the library last year, and it's one of my favorites ever -- it's also well and lyrically written, so it's a joy to read aloud. It's a terrific antidote to the many books that depict the Holy Family as blonde-haired, blue-eyed Caucasians, which is not very likely, since they lived in the Middle East, for crying out loud.
There are new and used copies for sale on Amazon, and one of them will be under our Christmas tree for K this year. And one other funny detail -- on the last page, there's a large illustration of the whole manger scene . . . and Anya Rashi spotted one teeny, tiny detail: baby Jesus is making the peace sign with one hand. Too funny -- she pointed it out every time we read the book, and even mentioned it while riding in the car one day this summer. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!