Christmas is coming, which means Advent is coming, which means Black Friday is coming, which means you are thinking about buying Christmas presents. But you don’t want to pick up some cheesy pre-packaged gift pack from Walget. No, you want something unique and meaningful.
Without further ado, Catholic Christmas presents, presented by Lisa Cotter.
For Those Who Could Use A Break
Pro-Catholic Movies and Prayerfully Popped Popcorn
There are dozens of great Catholic movies out there and they just seem to keep coming. The National Catholic Register has a great list of the Top 100 Pro-Catholic Movies to give you some ideas. Some personal favorites of mine that are not on this list include: For Greater Glory (2012), October Baby (2011), Courageous (2011), and Padre Pio: Miracle Man (2000).
Find a fitting one for your recipient and wrap it up with some Prayerfully Popped popcorn for a great movie night package. This popcorn made by Benedictine sisters comes in a wide variety of unique flavors. They had me at Puppy Chow, or was it St. Scholastica’s Cheddar, or maybe it was Butterfinger… I don’t know, but I want to try them all!
Many religious communities make and sell handmade bath and body products that are just right for the person on your list who could use some pampering. Dominican nuns in New Jersey offer beautifully crafted soaps, seasonally appropriate room sprays, and even a gentlemen’s shaving soap gift set. Discalced Carmelite nuns offer both scented and unscented organic soaps. And Benedictine sisters offer all kinds of personal care products like lavender stress stixs, shea butter lotion, bath salts, a variety of soaps, and even bug spray! So pick your favorite order and create a gift pack.
For The Over 21 Crowd
Holy Medal Charmers, Trappist Wine and Monk or Nun Wine Covers
Ever been at a party with wine, put down your glass, and then find yourself guessing which one is yours when you return for it? Wine charms were invented exactly for this dilemma. They are like little name tags for your glass but are much more attractive than sharpie on a plastic cup. Pair this with a bottle of wine from the New Clairvaux Vineyard, then take it one step further, and throw a monk or nun wine cover over the bottle and your favorite wine connoisseur will be impressed.
You can buy the hoops at etsy.com or at your local craft store in the jewelry aisle (they are the same loops you use to make earrings) and medals can be found at totallycatholic.com or at your local Catholic store. Try to pick medals that have a special meaning to your recipient; perhaps their namesake, favorite saint, or the patron of their alma mater. If you want to add a little flare to your charms you can throw some beads on the loops. The beads shown above are compliments of my grade school bead collection. I can’t decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I have kept them all these years.
Beer Brewed By Brothers and Catholic Steins
Yes, several monasteries make and sell beer.
I personally don’t like beer, but if I did, I think I would like beer brewed by monks. I also think the beer would go down more smoothly if it was drunk from a custom beer stein with a quote like “What Would Jesus Brew?” or with a picture of one of the patron saints of brewers, such as St. Augustine of Hippo or St. Luke. Don’t forget the organic bar mitt made by the Ursulines!
For The Lover of Good Food and Caffeine
Catholic Cookbook and Apron
There are several great Catholic cookbooks out there that are filled with tried and true recipes from monasteries, as well as, cookbooks with traditional and new recipes for celebrating the Church year. Who doesn’t want an excuse to make something sweet to eat? When it’s done in the name of Catholic tradition and celebration, I’m always in. For a great list of the best of the best Catholic cookbooks check out CatholicCuisine.blogspot.com. The only author missing on the list is Fr. Leo Patalinghug. His latest book Spicing up Married Life, just might be perfect for your favorite couple.
Throw in an inspirational apron, like the one above with a honoring St. Therese of Lisieux, and your gift will score you some bonus points, or maybe on the Solemnity of St. Joseph some cream puffs, which are THE treat on this day in Italy. (If you are looking for the cream puff recipe, buy A Continual Feast)
Mystic Monk Coffee and Happy Saints Mug
We all have that friend who just can’t quite start their day without a little of the black stuff. Don’t worry, I’ve got something for them, too. Mystic Monk coffee (or tea), will do just the trick. And I don’t know how they could avoid starting their day off with a smile when it is being poured into one of these happy, Happy Saints mugs. Ahhh, I just can’t handle the cuteness, these caricatures are really too much. (In a good way.)
The Pope’s Cologne
You’re shocked, I know, I was, too… but you will regain your composure in a moment. For that special man in your life you can purchase the private formula of Pope Pius IX. I have never smelled this cologne, so I cannot attest to its fragrance, but I can tell you that the receiver of this gift will NOT guess what is inside their package.
For the Kiddos (nieces, nephew, Godchildren…)
Saint Dolls and Their Stories
You’ve seen them from my husband’s post on 7 Ways to Become A Saint and now you too can paint (or buy) these adorable, inspirational friends who are sure to spur your little guys on to holiness. Wooden dolls can be purchased at craftparts.com, and I suggest using Reeves Acrylics.
Pair them with a Glory Story audio CD, My Catholic Family DVD or book on the saint.
Board Games and Personalized Game Pieces
Who doesn’t love a game night? Turn it into a catechetical lesson and you win. To sweeten the gift make family board game pieces for the individuals in the family to use while playing.
Seriously, these are adorable and you know it. Just use packing tape to “laminate” the pictures and pop them in a stand that you can buy at boardgamedesign.com.
So, do you have any ideas of your own? Place them in the comments!
P.S. For more great products from Abbeys, Convents, Monasteries and Hermitages check out monasterygreetings.com. They sell everything from handmade candles and cookies to soaps and stained glass.
P.P.S If you know me personally and happen to receive one of the above mentioned gifts for Christmas, please act surprised.