Enter our giveaway to win two enchanting storybooks for young and old and a set of seasonal calendar posters from Sophia Institute Press.
Sophia Institute Press is celebrating its very first New York Times bestseller and the publication of two new beautiful resources with a giveaway for all three! One Catholic Mom reader will win a prize package featuring Raymond Arroyo's bestselling picture book, The Spider Who Saved Christmas, plus Christmas Blossoms by Priscilla Smith McCaffrey and a set of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany liturgical-year poster calendars.
The Spider Who Saved Christmas
Raymond Arroyo's new picture book from Sophia Institute Press is a wonderful addition to your collection of Christmas storybooks. The Spider Who Saved Christmas: A Legend, beautifully and vividly illustrated by Randy Gallegos, begins with the Holy Family on the run from King Herod, during the Slaughter of the Innocents. Entering a cave to hide from Herod's soldiers, Mary and Joseph notice a large spider protecting a sac of eggs. Joseph, fully on alert and wanting to protect Mary and Baby Jesus from all threats, slashes at the spider's web with his staff, but Mary stops him, noting, "All are here for a reason. Let it be."
As the family rests in the darkness of the cave, the distant wails of the slaughtered innocents and their bereaved mothers are heard. The spider, who wants to repair the web Joseph damaged with his staff, realizes that she needs to protect a Child not her own -- so she calls forth her dozens of older children to help spin a thick web at the entrance to the cave, so that Herod's soldiers will be tricked into thinking that no one is hiding inside.
Readers familiar with Charlotte's Web will enjoy another story in which a friendly spider selflessly takes risks to save someone else. Unlike most stories that feature "saves Christmas" in their title, The Spider Who Saved Christmas isn't about removing obstacles that threaten to prevent Santa's delivery of gifts to children. Instead, it's about a lowly creature willingly accepting a dangerous mission to save the Son of God.
The Spider Who Saved Christmas is based on an ancient Eastern European legend which tells the origin of the tinsel we often use to decorate Christmas trees. This read-aloud book was published in 2020 and became a New York Times bestseller -- the first bestseller published by Sophia Institute Press!
A story inspired by current events in China, Christmas Blossoms by Priscilla Smith McCaffrey recounts the challenges for Catholics in China from 1940 through the present day. Zhang Jian grew up Catholic, remembering his early childhood when the priests would visit Catholics in his neighborhood and sing carols outside their homes. But Jian was separated from his family during the revolution in 1949 and grew up to become a glass painter. While Catholics could not practice their faith in China, many factories profited from the celebration of Christmas in other parts of the world by the manufacture of Christmas ornaments like the ones Jian painted.
Jian's story continues through the years when he secretly carried a tiny Christ Child from a Nativity scene in his pocket. His wife did not understand the significance of the little statue, and he did not dare explain it to her, because Christians were in danger of punishment and persecution. As the story continues, the reader will see how art provided a healing balm to a man who had experienced more than his share of tragedy, and how Jian was finally able to share his faith with a longtime friend.
Christmas Blossoms is appropriate for readers in middle school and up. At 64 pages, the hardcover book is delicately illustrated throughout with borders on the pages and art inspired by the kind of Christmas ornaments created by the character Zhang Jian.
Illustrated Liturgical Year Posters for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany
Designed and illustrated by Michaela Harrison, the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 4-poster set is a strikingly beautiful visual resource to help your family follow these liturgical celebrations day by day.
The Advent calendar includes many saints' feasts as well as the three Ember Days of Advent and the O Antiphons, and is embellished with Scripture quotes and images of families preparing for the birth of Jesus. Below is a detailed look at the first week of Advent.
The Christmas and Epiphany posters are mainly gold, and in addition to the illustrations of saints and events in the life of Jesus, are rich in symbolism. The twelve days of Christmas even have little drawings of the items from the well-known Christmas carol! You and your family will enjoy digging into the symbols embedded in the intricate art on these calendar posters.
The posters are 18x24 inches and printed in brilliant color. They are offered as part of a full-year liturgical calendar subscription, shipped every three months.
This poster set follows the 1962 calendar, used in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, so you will find that the dates for the Feast of the Holy Family, Epiphany, and the Baptism of the Lord, among others, are not the same as the liturgical calendar used in the Ordinary Form.
One Catholic Mom reader will win a prize package with these two books and 4-poster set! To enter, leave a comment on this article. Answer our giveaway question:
What's your favorite Christmas carol?
Winner must have a USA mailing address. The giveaway closes at 12:01 AM Monday, November 15. One winner will be chosen among entries made within the giveaway period. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim the prize. Unclaimed prizes will be awarded to alternate winners.
Copyright 2021 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Image: Canva Pro
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About the Author
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count. Her booklet, The Handy Little Guide to Prayer, is available now from Our Sunday Visitor.