The Mary Box

Back in 1995, when I only had four little girls and each had a surplus of religious medals, holy cards, rosaries, and chaplets, I wanted a way to organize and contain these religious goodies, yet still encourage the collection of more. What resulted was the “Mary Box.” We found 4 cigar boxes, and with wallpaper, doilies, holycards, and mod podge, we created a special box for each girl to hold all these precious items.

Each daughter picked a different Mary to adorn their box. The Marys were chosen in different ways. Maria loved the story of Our Lady of Lourdes, so that was an easy choice. Ida’s middle name is Grace, perfect! Isabel was born the day before the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, another easy one. Max was a little harder but was very happy with Our Lady of Fatima. When each made their First Holy Communion, they got a statue of their special Mary.

Then along came a boy! Well, Crozet got a “Joseph Box.” The last girl, for lack of a matching cigar box, has a different looking “Mary Box” but its purpose is the same. Now that Audrey has made her First Communion and her Mary is Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast is celebrated a couple of weeks before her birthday, I am determined to find a matching cigar box to complete our set.

The Mary Box was a wonderful religious craft in our homeschool, but it would be just as appropriate for children who attend school outside the home. Younger kids enjoy quiet times going through their box. Older children still go back to their boxes from time to time to look for special items or prayers that they know they have saved. Our boxes are stuffed, but somehow there’s always room for more!

mary box
Our boxes: Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

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  1. I am really enjoying all your traditions you are sharing. They are just beautiful!

    Not sure what kind of cigar box, but I have found some good ones at antique malls (inexpensive). I was just in WV and found a few wooden ones with hinged lids as matching replacements.

    My dad used to smoke cigars, and so the cigar box was a common luxury in our house. I don’t miss the smoke, but I do miss the niceties of having those pretty and useful boxes!

  2. Well, thank you Jenn! I think I am realizing lots of little traditions since just going through our last 1st Communion. I liked having cigar boxes too. My husband smoked cigars for a while so we were always doing creative things with the boxes. By the time Audrey, the baby, was born, he had stopped smoking cigars. We had to make do with a cool wooden box with a clear top. There is a smoke shop near my house and they sell cigar boxes for a couple of bucks. i think I will go see if I can find a mathing box and complete the set. As always, it is good to hear from you!

  3. Oh, Evann…I wish you lived closer. I am **not** the crafty type but I so need at least three of these, and then I can think of at least, oh, TEN, that I need to make for gifts. What a GRRRRREEEAAAT idea! Thanks for sharing it via the Catholic Carnival!

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