It’s that time of year when we start looking for Christmas gifts for loved ones. Chicago Catholic staff put together this list of unique gift ideas for this year’s shopping season.
Original Catholic Prayer Cube by Creator Mundi, $12.95,
Original Catholic Prayer Cube is 2.25 inches and made from birchwood. It is designed for children as a simple and fun way for families to pray together as the children learn basic Catholic prayers. Parish communities can welcome new children with a Catholic prayer cube. Grandparents can comfort grandchildren spending the night by giving them a prayer cube. This makes a wonderful gift for helping teach kids the importance of gratitude and prayer as well as the richness of the Catholic faith.
Creator Mundi also offers “Bedtime” and “Mealtime” prayer cubes. The “Mealtime” cube is also available in Spanish.
Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt, $31.72
Avenchier on Etsy.com
Looking for a unique gift for someone with a fun sense of humor? Try this ugly Christmas sweatshirt by Avenchier on Etsy.com. The message says “Go, Jesus. It’s your birthday!” and features a cartoon image of Jesus winking and giving a thumbs up.
Godmother necklace, $24,98,
DistinctlyIvy on Etsy.com.
A perfect gift for godmothers, this necklace and chain is personalized with the child’s name on it. The jewel can be tailored to the gem color associated with the month, such as dark red for garnet in January.
Nativity set, $89.99
Designed by a Catholic mother in Chicago, this Nativity set is made of high quality vinyl, which means nothing moves, breaks or falls off. The dolls have been safety tested and approved for children of all ages. Dolls measure at slightly over 3.5 inches. Stable measures 6 inches tall, and has a 4-by-6-inch base. The stable comes apart for easy storage. Assembly required.
Shining Light dolls offer other figures such as Sts. Therese of Lisieux, John Paul II, Joseph and Lucy.
USB Flash Drives of Pope Francis and Our Lady of Guadalupe, $17.99
These 16GB flash drives are made from durable PVC, and come with a clip so you can bring them wherever you go. Flash drives are also available for saints such as Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Kolkata, Padre Pio, Nicholas and Michael the Archangel.
Journey with the Saints desk calendar, $13.95
Word Among Us, bookstore.wau.org
Start your day with inspirational words from a Catholic saint or spiritual writer. For each month, the saints’ writings focus on a different theme, such as grace and mercy, prayer, hope and trust in God, the Incarnation and Mary, Mother of God. This calendar can be used year after year. Word Among Us also offers the perpetual calendars “A Catholic Mom’s Desk Calendar” and “Day by Day with Pope Francis.”
Joseph the Carpenter’s Helper Tool Set and Work Apron, $12.99
Children ages 3 and up can pretend to be working with St. Joseph while carrying their eight-piece tool set in handy apron pockets. They learn the value of humility and hard work through “The Story of Joseph the Carpenter” screen printed inside the apron. Includes wooden wrench, ruler, hammer, saw, screwdriver and working screw/bolt set perfect for toddler hands. Each tool measures about 6 inches in length. Adjustable apron measures 15 inches by 20 inches.
Drinking with the Saints Book and Bar Towel set, $39.95
This good-humored book and towel set serves up sincere tidings of faith, delicious cocktails and excellent Catholic commentary. Michael P. Foley’s “Drinking with the Saints” brings to life the saints and drinks that crafted brewing customs.
Supported by extensive appendixes to the church liturgical year, Foley provides a historical and technical guide to spirits, both of which are helpful to laypeople. You’ll learn cocktail recipes and prayers, benedictions and Latin toasts, wine and beer recommendations, serving up genuine appreciation and a deepened understanding of the saints. The St. Brigid “Lake of Beer” bar towel makes a great addition to the set.
Operation: Noah’s Ark Edition, $19.95
Children ages 4 and up can help Noah load the animals on board the ark as they seek refuge from the flood. Modeled after the original “Operation” game, when you touch the sides a thunderbolt will sound.
Catholic Relief Services
Gift Catalog, gifts.crs.org
If you’re looking to make a difference this Christmas, you can give the gift of medical supplies, food, clean water and more through Catholic Relief Services Gift Catholic. It’s an inspirational way for you to make a life-changing difference for families and communities around the world. Simply choose a gift that will help save, protect and transform the lives of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters — and then, choose a special card to personalize and let your loved one know you’ve given a gift of hope in their name. All items in the gift catalog are actual goods and services provided to the people CRS serves overseas. The gifts described in the catalog are symbolic of the good your donation will do for children, women and men in more than 100 countries.
John Caplis from St. Benedict Parish, 2215 W. Irving Park Road, has a special job. Each Tuesday morning from now until after Christmas, he heads down to Daley Plaza to clean the bird droppings from baby Jesus and the other figures in the Nativity scene.
For the past 10 years, Deacon Freddie Palacios and his wife, Zoila, have been putting smiles on the faces of poor children living in their native Guatemala by delivering wrapped toys for Christmas.
Do you remember Christmas when you were a child? I recall the excitement that the approach of the holiday created in me. During the month of December, Christmas was never far from my thoughts. What gifts would I receive? With little resources, what present could I give to my mom and dad? Of course, the closer to Dec. 25, the more my excitement intensified.