Say a Hail Mary and hope for the best – the holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: it’s shopping season.
As the old adage goes, Catholics are well-aware of the “reason for the season,” but even so, buying gifts is a fun part of a holidays, giving those courageous enough to brave the crowds a chance to show their loved ones how much they care about them. While many stockings will no doubt be filled with the latest gadgets and gizmos this year, being Catholic affords the chance to seek out those meaningful, lasting and sometimes quirky gifts that just keep on giving. Here are a few ideas for some practical, some unique, and some off-the-wall Catholic gifts that’ll be sure to put a smile on the recipient’s face.
For the young lasses and lads
Dear Pope Francis by Pope Francis
Loyola Press, Hardcover, $18.95
Buy it here
This adorable book is a compilation of letters from children around the world to Pope Francis accompanied by his responses to them. Main takeaways: yes, the pope is old, and kids are way more theologically astute than we give them credit for.
Operation: Noah’s Ark
Buy it here
Kids will love this Catholic take on the classic Operation game, in which they help rescue animals and are penalized with a lightning bolt sound for touching the sides.
A Missal for Toddlers
Ignatius Press, Hardcover, $10.99
Buy it here
The perfect companion for that squirmy kid of yours to follow along with the Mass and teach them the deeper meanings of each part of the liturgy.
For the St. Peter-types
These rosaries are made with paracords (the cords used for parachutes) and were originally designed with military troops in mind. Not only do they come in a wide variety of colors and styles, they’re the toughest rosaries money can buy. Whether you have a relative in the military or that friend who’s a bit of a daredevil, you can bet they’ll appreciate having one of these.
Barbatus Beard Balm
$10 + shipping
St. Augustine once said, “The beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous, so that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” The Catholic Balm Co. created the Barbatus Beard Balm with this philosophy in mind. Keep that face rug in check and smell like a freshly baptized baby with the chrism aroma beard balm.
For the lovely ladies
Daughter of the King: Wait, Where’s My Crown? by Kaylin Koslosky & Megan Finegan
Independent, Paperback, $12.95
Buy it here
Local authors Kaylin Koslosky and Megan Finegan wrote this book with high school and college-aged women in mind. They bring a fresh-out-of-college perspective to hot topics such as love, faith and relationships, while keeping their approach grounded in the Church’s teachings.
Little Flower Lip Balm
$10 three-pack + shipping
The female alternative to Barbatus Beard Balm, this lip balm is made with four simple, high quality ingredients, and comes in three different scents. A portion of the proceeds made from the balms go to various ministries, parishes and individuals that Catholic Balm Co. supports.
$29 – $34 per month
Lumibox is a totally cool company started by a local Catholic couple aimed at enriching the lives of others through art, music and more. Each month, they’ll deliver a curated box of Catholic stuff right to your doorstep that can contain daily devotionals, CDs, or a smorgasbord of other items.
Mystic Monk Coffee
These holy roasts are made by a community of Carmelite monks in the middle-of-nowhere, Wyoming, and, based on reviews from coffeereview.com, are quite delicious, smooth and of the highest quality. The monks make a variety of coffee and tea, and they even offer K-Cups, approximately titled “Monk-Shots.” For the coffee drinker in your life, this is a must-get.
This beer is brewed in the Belgian monastic tradition by Benedictine Monks at a monastery in Norcia, Italy, and trust us: it’s incredible. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side since it has to be imported from Italy, but it’s worth every dime, and all of the proceeds go to sustaining the monks’ monastery and way of life in Norcia. They need all the help they can get due to the recent earthquake, and Lord knows we need their prayers.