CNA’s Last-minute Christmas gift guide

Denver, Colo., Dec 19, 2017 / 03:17 pm (CNA).- There are five shopping days before Christmas. Are you still searching for a few last-minute presents? CNA has gift-giving advice from some thoughtful Catholic gift givers:

Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Archbishop of Denver:

One great Christmas tradition I have witnessed in several families is to forego Christmas gifts altogether in favor of gathering together donations for a chosen charity. In a family with several siblings, maybe a different sibling choses the charity each year, and together they are able to make a substantial gift. Even among a group of friends this could be done. What a beautiful testimony this practice is to our young people!

Lauren Ashburn, EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn

My favorite Christmas gift to give this year is from My Saint My Hero. The ”wearable blessings” company is run by a Catholic woman I interviewed this fall for EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn. She pays women in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to make necklaces and bracelets. Their mission is simple: to bring faith, hope and purpose to everyday life. Plus, for the fashionista in me, they come in a gazillion colors!

Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas is a marvelous collection of daily seasonal readings from Romano Guardini, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and many other Christian authors. It’s a wonderful gift that has permanent value. Mars Hill Audio Journal, produced by Ken Myers, and First Things magazine, edited by R.R. Reno, also make great Christmas presents that keep enriching the mind and spirit throughout the year.

Jeanette De Melo, Editor-in-Chief, National Catholic Register:

Try a gifting a subscription to the National Catholic Register for Christmas. I recently received a wonderful letter from a new Register reader. He said "If, dear sir, it was your intention to keep me rooted in my favorite chair, enjoying my favorite pipe while enthralled by extraordinary substance in your paper, your mission was accomplished." The first issue he’d read was our 90th anniversary special edition, and he remarked that the only difficulty with this paper was that it had set the bar so high. "But considering you’ve been doing this for 90 years, I’m not too concerned! Here’s to many more years of the Register!" I hope many more people could enjoy a leisurely pace and thoughtful read with our newspaper. And we’ll be celebrating 90 years all year long!

JD Flynn, Editor-in-Chief, Catholic News Agency

I’ve given Archbishop Chaput’s Strangers in a Strange Land, George Weigel’s Lessons in Hope, and Fr. Thomas Joseph White’s The Light of Christ to a lot of people on my list this year. They’re some of the more interesting and important books I’ve read in 2017. I’ve also given donations on behalf of friends and family to Christians in the Middle East, through the Christian Near East Welfare Association. But if you want to give the best possible gift to your family, turn off your phone on December 23rd, and don’t turn it on again until the 26th. They’ll appreciate it more than you realize, and so will you.

Leah Libresco, Catholic Author and Speaker

I’d recommend The Little Oratory by Leila Marie Lawler & David Clayton to a household of any size. My husband and I have been reading the practical, tender guide to expanding your prayer habits at home all year, and we’ve gotten a lot out of it (an icon wall, a cross in the kitchen to kiss when exiting, etc.). We’re planning to spend some time over the holidays to figure out what we might take on/receive from God next! Plus, of course, if you know someone who’s tentatively exploring Catholicism, you can always get them my Arriving at Amen, about learning to pray as a convert from atheism, and embracing faith as a second language.

Curtis Martin, Founder and CEO, FOCUS

In our family we have minimized the gift giving by working together with Cross Catholic International. As a family, we sit down and evaluate various projects and determine together, who we would like to support. It has been a blessing to provide a well and fresh water, or education and care for children with special needs, or food for the hungry.

Two things:
1. My book, Joy to the World! It’s short meditations on the best news ever, and the best gift ever: God’s unmerited, unconditional love for us. And it’s the perfect evangelistic stocking stuffer.
2: Homemade candy. Because nothing communicates love like sweetness. 🙂

Michael P Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and CEO, EWTN Global Catholic Network

I suppose it’s not surprising that I would recommend Mother Angelica on Prayer and Living for the Kingdom as the perfect Christmas gift. This book brings together, for the very first time, Mother’s timeless advice on how to deepen your prayer life and achieve your ultimate purpose— eternity in Heaven with Jesus. With some of Mother Angelica’s own original prayers, this makes a wonderful gift that someone can take with them to adoration or a Holy Hour. It’s a gift that delivers eternal rewards!

George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Author

I’d suggest giving Matthew Levering’s fine book, An Introduction to Vatican II as an Ongoing Theological Event: the perfect gift for Catholics across the spectrum of opinion, and especially for those under fifty for whom the Council has, at best, a murky image. Levering puts Christ back at the center of the Council, which is what the Council Fathers intended, as too few understand, or do, today.

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