Denver Catholic’s 2020 Christmas gift guide

If you’re anything like us, then you can hardly believe we’re just slightly over a month away from Christmas. Although many of us have hardly left our homes this year and the days (quite literally!) seem to blend together like some weird marathon session of Groundhog Day, it certainly hasn’t slowed the passage of time.

We’re all in need of a little bit of holiday cheer, and thankfully it’s right around the corner. While it seems like everything else in world has been cancelled, it’s comforting to know that Christmas and the immense joy that Christ brought to the world cannot and will not be cancelled.

In the spirit of the season and to help spread a little bit of that joy, we present our 2020 gift guide. May your Christmas season be full of jubilation and rejuvenation!

Books

We’ve all likely been glued to our phones or a screen of some sort more than usual this year, but it’s never too late the kick the habit! Why not bury your face in a good book instead? It’s better for the brain, more enriching, and the pages don’t emit a mind-numbing blue glow. 

1. Consecration to St. Joseph by Father Donald Calloway (Marian Press), $14.95 
2. The Imitation of Mary by Father Quan Tran (Sophia Press), $17.95
3. Pray, Hope, & Don’t Worry Prayer Journal for Catholic Women: A 52-Week Guided Devotional Through Scripture and the Saints to Overcome Anxiety by Sara A. Smith (Holy Water Books), $13.95 
4. Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday (TAN Books), $34.95 
5. Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Home Making (TAN Books), $34.95
6. Brilliant! 25 Catholic Scientists, Mathematicians, and Supersmart People by David Michael Warren (Word on Fire), $24.95 
7. Fatima: 100 Questions and Answers on the Marian Apparitions by Paul Senz (Ignatius Press), $14.95 

Clothing/Accessories 

Just because we’re Catholic doesn’t mean we have to be dressed for Sunday Mass all the time, nor does it mean we can’t wear some hip Catholic gear every once in a while. Here are just a few small Catholic businesses that are thinking outside the box when it comes to clothing and accessories. 

More Than You Realize Skyline women’s t-shirt

1. More Than You Realize (mtyrstore.org)
2. Catholic Socks & That One Sheep shirts (sockreligious.com
3. Pink Salt Riot Jewelry (pinksaltriot.com
4. Rosary Habit jewelry (rosaryhabit.com
5. Brick House in the City (brickhouseinthecity.com
6. PAL Campaign (palcampaign.com

Baby/Kids/Teen 

Look beyond the shelves of Target and Walmart when shopping for the little ones and kids in your lives. From adorable swaddles to books of the children’s and comic variety, here are a few Catholic alternatives. 

Noah’s Wooden Ark Animal Shape Sorter

1. Be A Heart Catholic baby swaddles (beaheart.com), $28 
2. Chews Life rosaries (chewslife.com), $38 
3. Custom saint peg dolls (TheCheerfulGifter Etsy shop) 
4. Noah’s Wooden Ark Animal Shape Sorter (Tender Leaf Toys), $99
5. Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace and Courage by Carey Wallace (Workman Publishing), $24.95 
6. Lily Lolek: Future Saint by Katie Warner (TAN Books), $16.95 
7. The Four Gospels for Young Catholics (Pauline Books and Media), $29.95 
8. Friends Again by Karine-Marie Amiot & Violaine Costa (Magnificat), $14.99 
9. The Kingstone Bible Comic Books (Kingstone) 

Practical/Religious gifts 

While many religious gifts in the past seemed to be better suited for your grandma than your niece, that is no longer the case. Consider gifting one of these sacred gifts this Christmas season. Included are a couple of unique new Bibles, just in case yours or someone’s you know is getting a little raggedy. 

Little Rose Shop Coffee Mug

1. Monk Manual 90-planner, $38 (monkmanual.com
2. Rugged Rosaries (cordbands.com
3. The Catholic Candle Company (catholiccandlecompany.com
4. The Catholic Woodworker Crucifixes (catholicwoodworker.com
5. The Little Rose Shop: Unique Catholic prints, coffee mugs and more (thelittleroseshop.com
6. The Catholic Journaling Bible (Blessed is She), $49.95
7. The Word On Fire Bible, Vol. 1: The Gospels (Word on Fire), starts at $29.95 
8. The Augustine Bible ESV-CE (Augustine Institute), starts at $49.95 

Local stores 

It’s important to support small, local Catholic businesses, and especially so this year. Lucky for us, there are quite a few just around the block, and they have wide ranges of gifts that would be perfect for your loved ones of all ages. The best part is you can order online too! 

The Retro in Arvada

1. Bethlehem Handicrafts (bethlehemhandicrafts.com
2. Creator Mundi (creatormundi.com
3. Stargazer Fine Chocolates (stargazerfinechocolates.com
4. Gerkens Religious Supplies (gerkens.com
5. The Retro, home of Full of Grace USA and Motherboards (theretro.net

COMING UP: Care for Her Act: A common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies

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The pro-life community is often accused of only being pro-birth; however, a congressman from Nebraska is seeking to not only bring more visibility to the countless organizations which provide care for women experiencing crisis pregnancies through birth and beyond, but to also imitate that care at the federal level and enshrine it into law.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R), who serves the first congressional district in Nebraska, is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill that’s been in the works since last year. The overall goal of the bill is to “[commit] to care for that journey of life through a complementary set of services whereby the government makes a decided choice on behalf of the life of the unborn child and meeting the needs of the expectant mother,” Rep. Fortenberry told the Denver Catholic.

The Care For Act seeks to accomplish this through four basic provisions: A $3,600 tax credit for unborn children which would apply retroactively after the child is born, in addition to the existing tax credit for children; a comprehensive assessment and cataloguing of the programs and resources that are available to expectant mothers; providing federal grants to advance maternal housing, job training mentorships and other educational opportunities for expectant mothers; and lastly, offering financial incentives to communities that improve maternal and child health outcomes.

The Biden Administration recently indicated that they’ll be removing the Hyde Amendment in next year’s budget, which has historically been in place to prohibit pubic funds from going to abortions. The Care for Her Act would circumvent this to some degree, and it would also test whether Rep. Fortenberry’s dissenting colleagues who have in the past expressed that women should be cared for throughout their pregnancies and beyond are willing to stand by their words.

While the conversation around pregnancy and women’s health often centers around abortion, Rep. Fortenberry intentionally crafted the Care for Her Act to not be against abortion, per se, but rather for women and their babies.

“Abortion has caused such a deep wound in the soul of America,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “However, the flip side of this is not only what we are against, because it is so harmful, but what are we for? So many wonderful people throughout this country carry the burden of trying to be with women in that vulnerable moment where there is an unexpected pregnancy and show them the gift of what is possible for that child and for that woman. Let’s do that with government policy as well.”

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R) of Nebraska is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill which seeks to provide a community of care for women facing an unexpected pregnancy. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives)

Even The Washington Post has taken notice of the Care for Her Act. Earlier this year, Rep. Fortenberry introduced the idea to his constituents, and as to be expected, he received mixed feedback. Those who are pro-life were supportive of the idea, while those who support abortions were more apprehensive. Still others shared consternation about what the government ought to or ought not to do, expressing concern about what the Care for Her Act seeks to do.

“My response is, if we’re going to spend money, what is the most important thing? And in my mind, this is it,” Rep. Fortenberry said.

However, he was very encouraged by one response in particular, which for him really illustrates why this bill is so important and needed.

“One woman wrote me and said, ‘Jeff, I had an abortion when I was young. But if I had this complement of services and commitment of community around me, I would have made another decision,'” Rep. Fortenberry recalled. “And I said ‘yes.’ That’s why we are doing this. For her.”

So far, Rep. Fortenberry has been able to usher support from a number of women representatives on his side of the aisle. He is hopeful, though, that support could come from all sides of the political spectrum.

“Is it possible this could be bipartisan? I would certainly hope so, because it should transcend a political divide,” he explained. “We, of course, stand against abortion because it is so detrimental to women and obviously the unborn child. At the same time though, I think that others could join us who maybe don’t have the fullness of our perspective, who want to see the government actually make a choice on behalf of protecting that unborn life.”

Amidst the politically polarizing discussions about pregnancy and unborn life, the Care for Her act is a common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies. It offers women facing an unexpected pregnancy the chance to experience hope in a seemingly hopeless situation and make a life-giving decision for both herself and her child.

“I’m excited by this,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “I think it opens a whole new set of imaginative possibilities for America, a transformative ideal that again makes this moment of vulnerability when there is an unexpected pregnancy, our chance, our commitment as a community of care.”