I am always on the lookout for beautiful toys. I am a Catholic toy idealist... believing in my heart of hearts that every toy in our collection can reflect the goodness and beauty of God. When I find a toy that is specifically Catholic, well-designed and beautiful, I do a mighty mama fist pump and immediately add it to our Christmas and birthday list for future reference.
With a new baby in the house, I have renewed my commitment to bringing only the good and beautiful into our domestic church. We are doing a super stuff purge... and keeping our eyes open for the undiscovered. Recently, I had cause for a happy dance when I found sweet Catholic toys just in time for baby's first Christmas.
Shining Light Dolls began as a tiny seed in the heart of Chantal, a Catholic artist who felt the call of the New Evangelization speaking to her as she watched so many of her friends and family fall away from the faith. She turned the sorrow she felt into purposeful action. When I asked her to tell me about her dream, she said the following...
"I never really knew what to do, but as an artist I believed that God gives us each our unique talents for his purposes, and kept pursuing my art. It wasn't until my nephews were born that I realized my options for Catholic gifts for children were limited...
Looking around, I realized that today's children are attracted to specific types of imagery and I realized that by applying contemporary graphic styling to traditional images, I could open a child's heart to hearing the message of that particular Apparition or Saint. I believe it is crucial to evangelize children, and as St. John Bosco says, in order to win their hearts we must "accomodate ourselves to their tastes". Countless studies have shown that children learn through play, so while some may not see the importance of a "cute doll" we see it as a powerful tool for evangelization. We hope children can learn to love and become friends with the Saints and Blessed Mother from the youngest of ages...
Christ says "let the little children come to me," and in today's world we need to help them find the way! There are so many other influences fighting for their attention from infancy. Shining Light Dolls was born from a desire to teach children, and adults, their faith in way that makes them feel like Catholicism is still a vibrant and relavent part of the modern world. Our little dolls are simple and accessible; sometimes its hard to introduce someone (child or adult) to the faith in a "non-preachy" way, we think a cute little doll is a great way to bridge the gap and hopefully plant a seed."
The Shining Light collection includes dolls depicting Blessed Mother's images and titles from around the world. Chantal designed all the dolls, packaging, and paper inserts and runs the business with her family. Her vision included creating a product that could be easily accessible and affordable for all children. About her family business, she says:
Not only was it an act of faith to leap into the business, but working together as a family has deepened our relationships and our trust in God. It would have been impossible to bring the business this far without each other's talents, love and support.
The dolls stand 3.5" high and are made of vinyl. Each doll comes with a pretty informational insert complete with the story of the apparition, a devotional prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Memorare. They meet the highest safety standards and have been approved for infants and toddlers. Perfect for my little Peaches. :)
|Our Lady of Kilbeho|
I liked these dolls when I saw them online but I'm smitten now that I have them in hand. All of my children wanted to touch and play with them, even my almost-3-year old boy. He definitely has a preference for "boy toys" but something about Blessed Mother is different... he just wants to be with her. This is a perfect "first statue."
I was considering these dolls primarily for my littlest ones, who will still be a baby come Christmas, but after seeing my older (6 and 9) girls' reactions, I'm now expanding my list. These pretty dolls would fit perfectly into our home and unlike many toys, I wouldn't even mind having them left in community areas. They will also make a perfect gift for births and baptisms!
THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED
Now for the giveaway!
One of you will win a set of two of these precious dolls to keep or give.
Extra optional entries (LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH):
5. Follow this blog (Blossoming Joy) and let me know... it counts if you are already following!
6. Share about this giveaway via your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook and post the link here.
The contest will close on Friday, September 13th at 11:59pm EST.
Winner will be chosen by the original rafflecoptor: a child pulling an entry out of a hat. :)
Sorry international friends... US shipping only.
Winner will be notified by email. Please make sure you leave your contact info here or that your account is linked to an email address. If I have made reasonable efforts to contact you and am not able to within 48 hours, I will draw another name.