Still shopping? Grab these for Christmas stockings!

Are you still shopping for Christmas gifts? Me too! I’m starting to tense up, just thinking about everything I still need to get done. And I still need some ideas! But today I have an idea for you, if you’re shopping for small children (and maybe not-so-small children): the new plush figures from Little Drops of WaterThey fit perfectly at the top of a Christmas stocking—I tested it myself!



That’s Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Francis of Assisi peeking out of two of my kids’ Christmas stockings. Aren’t they adorable?

There are no choking hazards on these plush toys; the little birds on St. Francis’ shoulders are embroidered on, as are the golden roses and the Rosary on Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Lady’s veil is sewed at the top, but it does move around (and might wind up being used as a “lovey” by a toddler; how sweet would that be?). These plushies are about 8 inches tall and as soft as can be, just right for cuddling by your little one.

Besides the St. Francis and Our Lady of Lourdes designs shown here, you can also find St. Rita, Padre Pio, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Anthony, and Pope Francis. They’re calling these #CutestCatholicPlushEVER and I’m inclined to agree.







I’ve written before about the saint figurines and Nativity set from Little Drops of Water, and I’ve since learned that I’m not the only grownup who collects these little sturdy and unbreakable statues.

Little Drops of Water now ships from Chicago, so they’ll reach customers within the USA pretty quickly.


Copyright 2022 Barb Szyszkiewicz

Photos copyright 2022 Barb Szyszkiewicz, all rights reserved.

These product samples were sent by the manufacturer for my honest review.

On Barb’s Bookshelf: The Gift Counselor by Sheila Cronin

Barb's Book shelf blog title

Lately I’ve been finding that good Catholic romantic fiction is out there–you just need to know where to look. I’m happy to share a great Christmas read by Sheila Cronin. (It may be too early to decorate for Christmas, but I’m always up for reading a good Christmas story.)

gift counselorThe Gift Counselor would make a great Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. I’m not saying that to disparage the book at all. It’s a wonderful, feel-good story with a main character I found to be easy to relate to.

Jonquil is a widowed mom with a 10-year-old son who, more than anything, wants a dog of his own–but she has her own reasons for denying Billy’s wish. Jonquil is a psychology student focusing on the topic of gift-giving for her doctoral dissertation, and when she finds herself out of a job at the Children’s Home, she takes a seasonal position at a local department store. Soon she’s blending salesmanship and psychotherapy, setting herself on a new professional trajectory as the Gift Counselor.

But let’s not forget the romance in the novel. Claude, the general contractor renovating a building in Jonquil’s neighborhood, falls hard for Jonquil and must prove that he truly wants what’s best for her and for her young son.

Sometimes it’s the peripheral characters in a novel who are among the most captivating. In this story, it’s the irrepressible Rita, who takes Jonquil under her wing in the fragrance department and becomes a mother figure to her. I couldn’t help but be charmed by Rita’s spunk and determination.

In every good story there’s a villain; Sheila Cronin has created a believable and vulnerable villain in Leigh, whose ambition and drive masks a heart full of pain.

I mentioned earlier that this is a Catholic romance. Jonquil and Billy have Father Tim, their parish priest, as one of their greatest friends and supporters. The flashback to how Jonquil and Father Tim met is one of the sweetest scenes in the novel.

Jonquil’s gift-counseling service at the store leads her to examine the motivations behind gifts, the reasons people give gifts and the reasons behind particular gift choices. The Gift Counselor is a great Christmas read, but why wait? Read it now, and you may gain a new perspective on your own gift-giving–just in time for Christmas.

When you purchase this book through any of the affiliate links in this post, you support at no extra cost to you!

The Fine Print: I was given a copy of this book, and no other compensation, in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.