Isabelle’s Stocking

My husband comes from an Italian family with many traditions. There are certain movies that are watched, foods that are always made, and a certain ornament that is always licked (EW!) each Christmas. My own family’s traditions are a bit less unique, but equally fun. They include things like listening to the Beach Boys Christmas album while decorating the tree, my dad putting the angel (one that my family has always had) on top of the tree, spending Christmas Eve with very close family friends, and more recently our ThanksChristGivingMas tournament.


The notorious ornament that gets licked every year

This will be the fourth Christmas that Matt and I have spent together as a married couple. We have slowly developed a few of our own traditions, such as Matt stringing lights in front of our house, the fact that we always want to have colored lights on our tree, and an increasing collection of Hallmark Christmas Vacation ornaments.


Our first Christmas together in 2011

This year, Matt and I have established a new tradition in our house that centers around our sweet daughter, Isabelle. Since Isabelle plays a very different role in our family than we had originally planned, our new tradition reflects that.

As Catholics, Matt and I believe that there are very holy men and women, the saints, in heaven that can pray for those of us here on earth. It is the same concept as asking a close friend or family member here on earth to pray for you during a difficult time. The only difference is that the saints are in a perfect state. (“…nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies..” Revelation 21:27) Why would we not want them to pray for us? Those in heaven are holy people who are able to see God more “clearly” than we are able to on earth. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get. Prayers from people much holier than me sound great!

We believe that Isabelle Clare is among the saints in heaven. We had her baptized shortly after she was born, and she obviously never sinned. As a result, we ask her to pray for us regularly. She is our family’s own personal prayer warrior. I truly believe that she wanted us to know that. (See blog entry Isabelle’s Rainbows.)

Each year, Isabelle’s stocking will hang on our mantel. On Christmas Eve, each family member will add something they want Isabelle to pray for to her stocking. This symbolizes her role in our family – praying for us so that we can strive to live holy lives and eventually join her in heaven. Instead of us giving her gifts of toys each year in her stocking, she is giving us the gift of her prayers. I have been blessed with such a generous daughter!



  1. L says:

    My husband and I are also Catholic and had never thought of our daughter being our “personal prayer warrior.” I love that. What a lovely tradition.

    • Sarah says:

      We wanted to make sure that her role in our family was acknowledged. I am so thankful for our faith and the role that it as played in our healing process. Thanks for reading.

  2. Mary Pribbenow says:

    Sweet Sarah and Matt,
    Your witness is powerful and your faith extraordinary. I am grateful to read your posts whenever they appear in my ‘inbox.’ I too, believe in those saints, and the power of their prayers for us. No doubt your beautiful Saint Isabelle is watching over you and praying for you and your family. What a beautiful, holy and inspiring tradition you have begun.

    “You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:13-16

    Keep shining your light! Our world needs light!!! Gods peace and blessings to you during this Advent season!

Leave a Reply