Start here!

Sign up for this event

Join 400+ Catholics, get the Welcome email and reminders for this festival!




Live Replays



How can I watch the videos?

The videos will be sent to the email you registered with. You’ll be able to watch all of them for free until after the event.

I can’t attend the event. Will there be replays?

Yes, all the replays will be stored in our on-demand library to re-watch any time.

Is there a community?

Yes, this event is happening within the SmartCatholics community. Join for free to celebrate with us, and make friends!

Questions? Leave a comment! →

The Emmanuel Conference


Welcome, and an overview on how it all works

Original Music Recorded for this Event

Download the MP3 Audio

Live Replays

Live REPLAY: The Invitation of Christmas

Christmas Messages from the Community!

Live REPLAY: Traditions & Practices from round the world

Stories & Legends

Joy Is The Best Net To Catch Fish

Kendra Von Esh

A Special Place for Santa

Christina Semmens

Traditions & PRactices

How to Celebrate Christmas Even Beyond December

Anthony & Tina Rodriguez

Be Kind, Speak Faith

Marek Rudak

The Temple Roots of Christmas

Dustin Quick

Why Christmas Carols? Sharing the Joy!

Sr Nancy Usselmann

Epiphany Blessing over the Door

 Allison Gingras

The Christmas Table

 Rose Sweet

Sharing the Table at Christmas

 Fr Steve Porter

Philippine Christmas Traditions: A New Form of Evangelization

Mann Rentoy

Home Icon Corners: a Focus for Christmas Prayer

 David Clayton

Doubling the Power of Each Christmas Gift

John Paul Kasperowicz

The Gift of Mercy for Christmas

Anne DeSantis

Reasons & INsights

Hidden Saints for a Hidden King

 Simone Rizkallah

What's the best Christmas gift you ever received?

 Taylor Schroll

A Radiant Christmas

 Donna Heckler

Loving Your Neighbor at Christmas

Todd Charette

God Came to Meet You In Bethlehem...Will You Go?

Jerry Windley-Daoust

Knowing St. Joseph in the Infancy Narratives

Joby Provido

Didn't Your Mother Teach You the Joy of Catholicism?

Dr Andrew Mullins

Gaze Upon the Beauty of the Lord

Penni Warner

Closing Thoughts

Hear the surprising origin story for Select to Give, a foundation helping Christians in the Holy Land


Buy this Conference to keep all the videos - we donate $1 to the Holy Land!


Give a Gift: Support SmartCatholics this Christmas with a donation of any amount


Browse the Fair

  • Explore and discover Catholic businesses
  • Buy gifts from friends and local stores
  • Help us support each other
  • Enjoy the St Nicholas Gift Basket!

A massive thank you!

Dear Smart Catholic,

In 6 months we have created something incredible together.

  • A community that is changing how people are being Catholic.
  • An idea that’s getting us excited to come together online.
  • A way for us to continue learning and enriching our Faith with friends- affordably.

And 2021 is going to continue to grow. Every. Single. Month:

  • We are building conferences for you, and ask you what you want to hear about.
  • We’re also looking to build a marketplace where you can sell skills and services, from home. (We’ll even start training you on how to run a small business.)
  • We want to build a SmartCatholics Academy where you can go more deeply into the topics that matter to you.
  • We’re even thinking  of a Catholics Got Talent project… 

But we can’t bring all this to you on our own.

You see, SmartCatholics is a small, scrappy startup. We don’t have any investors, or fancy venture capital. And we don’t want that, either.

We want to build something with you, and for you.

Everything you see is from 3 volunteers – Dominic, Maddy, and Chloe. We decided that a lockdown doesn’t have to be a shutdown. It can be a chance to build something. Something exciting.

Look at what we’ve done together in 6 months, starting with nothing:

  • 9 online conferences, and we’ve supported 3 more.
  • A new home online in our thriving community, and it keeps getting bigger.
  •  A library of videos on SmartCatholics Video.
  • A brand new Directory to meet and support speakers and sponsors.
  • You’ve even bought the merch and sent us your photos!

Here’s how you can help.

This Christmas, share with us $5, or any amount you like, toward our $1000 drive.  It will go directly into building our Academy for 2021, plus the marketplace, and 5 conferences before Easter!

To thank you for giving a larger gift, you can choose to be included as a SmartCatholics sponsor in all our new conferences for 2021. Have a look at the donation form for details.

Your kindness this Christmas means everything to us. And even if all you want to do is share the word, we plan to keep plugging along, finding creative ways to collaborate and serve you, the Church, and Christ in the modern world.

May God richly bless you and yours,

Dominic, & SmartCatholics


Questions? Leave a comment! →

About this event

The emmanuel Christmas Fair & Festival

A festival of Christmas stories and traditions from around the world. Celebrate how ‘God with us’ makes being Catholic more exciting!

Emmanuel means ‘God with us’. Today!

On December 29-31, 2020, a host of Christmas-lovers are coming together to celebrate together with an online festival and fair.

Many today feel listless and alone, or crushed by pressure. This event is a little way to share the Christmas spirit with each other, to share stories and traditions.

Keep reading…

Live talks and group chats
Real stories from real Catholics
Meet and make friends
Catholic veterans and new voices
Recorded videos
Online fair of goods & services

We donate $1 from every purchase for this event

It’s a little way we can spread good cheer with families in the Holy Land

  • Buy this conference for $25 to keep watching afterward, and get the live panel replays
  • For every $25 pass, we donate $1 to Select to Give

To become gift is to give meaning to life…

“[Jesus] did not change history by pressuring anyone or by a flood of words, but by the gift of his life. He did not wait until we were good before he loved us, but gave himself freely to us.”

Pope Francis, 2019 Christmas Homily

Welcome Letter from Dominic de Souza

Dear Christmas-lover,

Celebrating Christmas is the one feast the makes me feel like a 5 year old. It’s not about the gifts.

It’s about everything. It’s the gifting culture of Christmas. How each of us does little things to celebrate life and goodness. Like music, food, gatherings, friendship.

The early Christians stunned the world with their culture of Christmas, their warm and welcoming homes.

This is what happens when the Kingdom of God breaks through, buds and flowers in our world.

Everyone loves the idea of Christmas, even if they don’t ‘get’ the Christ within it. And that’s what we’re coming together to celebrate with ‘The Emmanuel Fair & Festival’.

It’s not just to celebrate a moment in history. Or to have happy thoughts about Heaven. It’s to realize something very real is happening now:

Christ has entered our sacred pilgrimage, and trudges alongside us, asking for our help to scatter life and love in the darkest places.

Often it doesn’t feel so sacred. It feels boring. It feels terrible. For many, it feels like a lonely lockdown.

This makes me think of Bethlehem, when a different lockdown forced strangers into strange places, and made them wait. The little people of the world paused together, wondering what would happen next.

Then, like now, Christ slipped in through that sliver of silence, as a tiny child. And he never left.

We no longer sing ‘O Come Emmanuel’, like the ancients. We sing ‘Emmanuel’, God with us. Now and forever.

This event is not an invite to try to ‘out-Christmas’ the next person.

It’s a call to

  • Look at where we are, who we are, and what we have.
  • Accept that many things are not as we would have them.
  • Celebrate on behalf of many who don’t, or can’t.

We are gifted another year. We are gifted each other. And we are gifted Christmas.

However weakly or poorly it is celebrated, it is still strong enough to bring a smile, spark a sense of hope.

God is the great gift-giver, the lord of Christmas, and the hearthfire that warms the whole world.

We must allow ourselves to be filled with joy, so that when others see us, they are inspired to ask,  ‘What is the answer to the joy within you?’

It is the joy of Christmas!

I hope you’ll join us, browse the Christmas fair, and spend the time you can with your loved ones,

And remember, the world needs what you have to give.

Merry Christmas,

Dominic de Souza
Founder of SmartCatholics

Meet the Sponsors

Would you like to sponsor this event? Learn more →

Get a SmartCatholics Gift Card!

Purchase a gift card of any amount for SmartCatholics Video!

Send your friend the code. They redeem it for any event, or for their subscription!

Be a Magnetic Catholic!

Lonely Catholics risk becoming bystanders.

We need  to regroup, make friends, and turn into first-responders! The SmartCatholics community helps us be magnetic Catholics in the modern world. 

If this is your first time hearing about SmartCatholics, read the About Page to learn more.

We’re a mission Church, united to Pope Francis’ call to bring the joy of the Gospel to every corner of the world – starting with ourselves.

Catholic brands we love:

Why you should join this community:

We need somewhere online that’s ours, where we can

  • Uplift and inspire each other, and make new friends
  • Swap stories and ideas (not just advice!)
  • Be free of toxicity, trolls, and ads. (Bye bye, Facebook. We love you, but…)

We need more than just information. We need insights we can trust. We need friendship to help us live lives of hope and meaning.


Who this community is not for:

For any community to mean something and take action, there must be focus. And our community exists for a clear goal: unity, friendship, and formation.

Pope Francis is a source of unity for us. Please don’t enter if you reject Pope Francis and the 2nd Vatican Council, thrive on impending apocalyptic prophecies, polarized politics, and constant argument. 

There are plenty of other groups out there for you! Discussion on all topics is welcome, but bad manners aren’t. Ever. Offenders are warned or removed. God love you!


Pin It on Pinterest