My parents were Catholic, very much so. It must have been a disappointment to them that the religion didn’t really stick with any of their kids. Not a one that I know of. But I have mostly fond memories of growing up Catholic and I particularly miss the accessories from our earliest days (before the Church and the times in general became more liberal): holy water fonts in our rooms, rosary beads, statues of saints, crucifixes with secret compartments for your last rites candles.
Because of these memories, visiting the Catholic bookstore is like going home for me. I just love the beautiful prayer cards and printed scenes from Italy. Isn’t that a spectacular angel in the photo on top? That was my Christmas card from last year. Easiest card I ever made. I simply cut two slits in a folded card I bought from Paper Source (on sale I believe) and inserted the angels. I hope people took the angels out and kept them (or gave them to someone else who appreciates beautiful, Italian-printed, paper angels!) They were like small gifts in themselves.
My nativity scene also comes from the Catholic bookstore (my local shop is the Ave Maria Community Book Center on South De Anza Blvd. in San Jose). I’m adding to it slowly. Today I picked up a new Fontanini kneeling angel. The animals are from my daughter’s collection, and she placed them in the scene. For the last two years, she’s included Strawberry Shortcake and her friends – I think her artistic sensibilities are becoming a bit more refined. Not sure what my mother would have thought about these unusual additions or the fact that we allow Baby Jesus to join the scene before Christmas arrives.