In Catholic Digest’s 2018 Christmas Gift Guide, we’ve included plenty of Catholic gifts and fun and useful gifts for the whole family as well as hostess or teacher gifts. Some of our favorite gifts include an illustrated encyclopedia about all things Catholic, a vintage-style rosary, an inflatable kayak, and an arts and crafts subscription that teaches watercolor painting, drawing, and more.
GIFTS FOR LADIES
The Sisters of Carmel — cloistered, contemplative Carmelite nuns — make quality semi-precious gemstone rosaries. Choose from this Garnet Rosary — with an ornate silver crucifix, Sacred Heart center, and Miraculous Medal — or other pre-made rosaries that come in velvet drawstring pouches. The nuns also offer custom or partially custom rosaries.
Price: $321.50 for Garnet Rosary
A pretty way to conceal jewelry during travel or for home, the Bandana Jewelry Keeper & Organizer looks like a regular bandana at first glance. Folded out, it contains compartments for storing rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, or a rosary.
Price: $20 (medium: 14 inches by 7 inches open and 7 inches by 7 inches closed); $30 (large: 14 inches by 14 inches open and 6.75 inches by 6.75 inches closed)
Coupon: “BANDANA2018” for 15 percent discount
GIFTS FOR MEN
From Rugged Rosaries is their masculine World War I Battle Beads Rosary. It features a gunmetal patina designed to resemble antique World War I rosaries. Choose from a St. Michael Oval Medal or St. Benedict Round Medal.
Coupon Code: “DIVINE10” for 10 percent discount.
For the husband that likes to read, there’s the ultimate reading list featured in 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List (Workman Publishing Co., 2018) by James Mustich. Over 900 pages highlight the most notable books in genres including fiction, poetry, science, science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more. The book, arranged alphabetically, also includes some brief biographical information about the authors.
Price: $35 (hardcover)
The outdoorsmen will appreciate the Motorola Talkabout T265 designed especially for hunters, but also useful for campers and hikers. The Talkabout T265 provides up to a 25-mile range, emergency features, and silent hands-free communication. The battery life lasts up to 29 hours and has USB charging. The walkie-talkies come with a carrying case.
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
Make the rosary come alive for children with The Illuminated Rosary by Jerry Windley-Daoust. This full-color book contains all four mysteries of the rosary and features a sacred artwork — from masterpieces to modern — for each of the beads to help children meditate on the mysteries while saying the rosary. An added benefit is that there are beads at the bottom of each page to help children keep track of which bead they are praying. To make this book a family heirloom, choose the hand bound edition executed by OvenbirdBindery.com. This version uses an upgraded paper, is handbound, and printed with spot varnish on the art.
Price: $60 (softcover); $80 (hardcover); $160 (OvenBird Bindery gift edition)
Coupon: “roses25” for 25 percent discount through Dec. 12.
Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times (Our Sunday Visitor, 2018), written and illustrated by Meghan Bausch, provides an engaging way — two-stanza poems — for little ones to learn about the lives of 19 saints including Sts. Thérèse, Zelie, and Louis Martin. We love how the author combines drawing and real-life photography to set the stage for her poems.
“Bumbling by as slow as a slug is the tubbiest creature known as the Blug. The Blug plods a humorous pace, so slow, in fact, that he came in third place.” Meet the Blug and other 25 fellow mythical creatures in Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals (Tan Books, 2018) by Matthew Mehan and illustrated with oil paintings by John Folley. A modern-day Dr. Suess, Mehan’s poems are whimsical and fun and will charm children and adults alike.
GIFTS FOR TEENS
Catholic Traditions & Treasures: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (Sophia Institute Press, 2018) by Helen Hoffner presents all things Catholic in a beautiful and thorough layout. We love that each of the chapters is peppered with full-color artwork and well as charming drawings by Deirdre M. Folley. Flip through the book, and you’ll find easily-to-read explanations about Church hierarchy, the Vatican, religious orders, public and private devotions, devotional aids, the sacraments — you name it; it’s there.
Price: $15.99 (hardcover)
We liked this one-person kayak from Hammacher because it’s inflatable and easy to store in a trunk, so you have it on hand for impromptu water excursions. The kayak, made from 30-gauge vinyl, inflates in under 10 minutes. Built for exploring lakes and calm rivers, the kayak has an adjustable inflatable seat with a back. It comes with a high output hand pump and one aluminum paddle.
Price: $99.95 (inflated: 11.5 feet in length by 30 inches in width by 15 inches in height; deflated: 23.25 inches in length by 16.25 inches in width by 8.5 inches in diameter)
The Katana Personal Security System offers comfort and safety to parents and their teens. The KATANA Safety Arc is attached to a smartphone for easy access. In the event of an emergency, the owner pushes a silent alarm button that communicates to a 24/7 emergency response center. The Arc also has a loud alarm button to alert people of potential danger.
Price: $99 plus $15 per month or a one-time payment of $144 for one year for response center
Coupon Code: “Catholicdigest-20” for 20 percent off the Arc.
GIFTS FOR GRANDPARENTS
Madeleine Stebbins’ contemplative, coffee table book, Looking at a Masterpiece (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2017), uses artwork to teach readers about the mysteries of the faith. Featuring 37 masterpieces — both religious and secular — she unravels the spiritual meaning and symbolism of paintings by master artists such as Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Millet.
Price: $89.95 (hardcover)
Coffee aficionados will enjoy Bialetti’s new Glass “Pourover” Carafe. What makes this coffee maker unique is that it makes a stronger cup of joe because of its reusable double mesh filter, which allows the natural oils from the coffee grounds to come through.
We love that Bluprint makes it simple for budding artists and craft enthusiasts to learn new ways of being creative. Bluprint offers kits that include fine arts and craft materials for starter projects for drawing, watercolor, knitting, quilting, cake decorating, and more. Bluprint also offers a subscription service for tutorial videos with 3,000 hours of original classes taught by experts.
Price: $65 to $130 for Bluprint kits and $100 for 12-month video subscription or $9.99 per month.
HOSTESS GIFTS/TEACHER GIFTS
Watercolorist Ali Towle creates charming portraits of the saints characterized by faceless figures. Towle, who attends Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wisconsin, told Catholic Digest, “It’s important to me that we are able to see Jesus and Mary and the saints in the people we encounter in our day-to-day lives. By not attaching a face to the saints, I think we are more prone to see Christ living in one another.” Through her art, Towle hopes “to make people feel more connected to the Creator of the Universe through beautiful art and pretty words.” The Holy Family artwork is printed on archival fine art paper.
Price: $10 to $35 (sizes: 11×14, 9×12, 8×10, 5×7, 4×6)
Artist Fr. Cristóbal Torres Iglesias, OP, designed these lovely cards, titled “O Lumen,” in illuminated-manuscript style. The music’s text is the O Lumen, a traditional Dominican chant to St. Dominic that the Priory of the Immaculate Conception monks sing during night prayer. “Inside the illuminated ‘O’ is Dominic, who silently ponders the Good News of the Resurrection that Mary Magdalene is preaching to him while both stand in front of the empty tomb,” Fr. Iglesias said.
Price: $15 for a set of 10 blank cards.
Editor’s Note: Pricing and availability of products are subject to change.