As the promise, anticipation, and joy of Christmas draws near, our culture tends to pull us away from Christ and towards worldly distractions.
I don’t know about you, but it gets me anxious thinking about how little Christ is in Christmas throughout our world. However, we have power to make decisions in our own homes and to surround ourselves with what really matters. To focus on Jesus humbling himself and coming into the world! To give us the best gift of all, HIMSELF!
Alas, determined not to give in this year to all the other ‘things’ culture makes it about, I went ahead and listed a variety of faith-filled gifts beyond the material in different categories like: prayer, experiences, handmade items, and other beautiful things to help us draw closer towards Christ this Christmas. If you’d like to redirect your focus towards the reason for the season too, keep this list handy!
The Gift of Prayer
- A spiritual bouquet. To do this, write out all the prayers you’ve prayed for your friend or family member in a card or get crafty by creating a flower bouquet with felt or paper with one rose for each prayer you’ve prayed.
- Prayer throughout the season. Commit to praying specific prayers for someone and write it in a card.
- Christmas Caroling. Give the gift of music by singing and/or playing an instrument outside their door!
- A Mass Card. Go to your parish office, and ask if you can have a Mass celebrated for a living intention. Choose your date, make a donation, and they’ll give you a card
- Send a faith-filled song. Send them a faith-filled song leading up to Christmas and let them know why you thought of them or in what way you’re praying for them!
- Light a candle. You can do this at a church that’s special to a friend or family member, and light a candle for them and/or a specific intention of theirs. Let them know by writing it down in a card and sending it just in time for Christmas!
- Write a note. Express the promises of the lord in their life and how you see God in them.
- Offer to babysit or clean while they pray. Give your friend or family member the gift of time to spend a day in prayer.
- Shrine Visit. Invite them to visit a beautiful shrine with you, perhaps one that’s especially meaningful to them or related to a devotion that they may have. While you’re there, pray with them! If you want to bring your kids, prepare them in advance about the awesome story of the Saints life, have them draw a picture of the saint and maybe write their own prayer intentions while there.
- Hike date. Plan a hike date or a nature walk and invite them to pray with you in some way. Give them the gift of praying over them in thanksgiving for their life. With kids, have them find objects and talk about the beauty of God’s creation and how heaven will be beyond this. Maybe gather a few items to create a collage afterword to remember it.
- Craft night. Plan a craft night with family or friends to make rosary holders, rosaries, or prayer candles. (Or you can buy a rosary holder pre-made.)
- Catholic Conference. Purchase tickets to a catholic conference you know they’d love to attend but perhaps might not have the budget right now to get there, like a FOCUS conference.
- Pilgrimage. Give the gift of a travel pilgrimage or a visit to a Marian Apparition site by purchasing tickets for your friend or loved one.
- Catholic subscription. Give the gift of Catholic education by gifting them a subscription to LUX University or the Word on Fire Institute so they can grow closer to our Lord this Christmas.
- State Park. Plan a personal prayer picnic with your friend on a special feast day and get tickets to a state park.
- A Christmas Performance. Purchase tickets to a nativity play, symphony, orchestra, or ballet performance, and go with them!
- Garden Visit. Give them the gift of beauty by taking them to a beautiful local garden that decorates for the Christmas season. If you’re near Philadelphia, Longwood Gardens is absolutely gorgeous in December.
- The Gift of Mindfulness. A great one for someone who struggles with anxiety, young or old. Here is a kids book on it and an adults book to help enter into this peaceful faith filled version of being still and finding peace.
- Tickets to see the Sistine Chapel LIVE! No really, they are now traveling around with amazing renditions of this art all over the states to a city near you. So even if you can’t go to Rome, you should totally take a day to see them and maybe pray in front of some of these sacred images.
- Money towards a retreat. You can organize this with a group of friends for a couple that you know would love to go on retreat but might not have the means at the moment. I love the Theology of the Body Institute retreats and the retreats by Blessed Is She.
- Membership to Soulcore! For that Someone in your life who is trying to stay fit but also keep a consistent prayer life. This combines the rosary with movement.
- Write a song or poem. This is a delightful and unexpected gift for a loved one. Surprise them with a song or poem written just for them.
- Make a Bible verse jar. Write or type many Bible verses onto little pieces of paper and put them in a jar so that your loved one can be encouraged as they pull out a different verse for each day of the year.
- Make a knot rosary. Make a handmade knot rosary and pray for the person as you make it! Then you can give it to them with a beautiful card expressing that you prayed for them and their intentions while crafting this beautiful gift. Don’t know how, watch this video!
- Make a homemade sign. Using reclaimed wood and some paint, writing scripture on it or some inspired message you can create a beautiful, faith-filled addition to their home so they can be reminded of God’s goodness every time they see it.
- Frame a saint quote Print, write, or paint a saint quote that makes you think of them, and add a mat and frame so it’s ready to hang in their home!
- Sacred art painting or print. Give the gift of beauty that lifts the mind towards heaven so they can be reminded of the sacred or even pray with it via visio divina.
- A sacred statue. Find a sacred statue of Mary or a saint you know they love for their home or garden.
- Holy water font. Gift them a holy water font so they can bless themselves whenever they enter or leave their home.
- Rustic Sacred Art Rosary Holders. This is a great gift for a loved one with a lot of rosaries.
- Prayer Candle. A prayer candle featuring Mary or another saint makes an excellent Christ-centered Christmas gift. You can also find candles with Catholic scents, like this one that’s chrism scented.
- A New Bible or a Family Bible.
- A Mass journal.
- Catholic Magazine Subscription. A year-long subscription to Magnificat or Radiant Magazine makes an excellent gift that keeps on giving.
- Saint Book. A book about a saint that they might not be familiar with yet but still one you think they’d love makes a great gift as well.
- Saint Socks! For the fun sock loving individual, kid or adult, these are great!
- Nativity Puzzle/Display for kids. Help your children reflect on what is the purpose through this handmade wooden puzzle/nativity set of their very own.
- Sacred art ornaments. like this beautiful ornament featuring The Holy Family and this one of The Magi.
- Consecration Book.
- Mary on a mantel! Exchange your elf on the shelf for this sweet Mary Doll, another great way to help your children know what is truly being remembered.
- Theology of the Home Book, if you know someone who loves homemaking and/or is seeking to cultivate a home of faith more fully, this is a great start for them!
- Theology of the Body book or CD. For anyone really, we all need to learn who we are as man and woman and this message is one that will deeply change your life, why not share it with someone else??
- Baby Rosary! For the littlest one who may be teething, these will be your jam!
I hope this jogs your brain for more unique ways to keep the focus on the Lord this year. Raise your hand below if you’re looking to keep Christ in Christmas and plan to try some of these suggestions!
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