Before becoming a parent, I assumed that choosing Christmas gifts for my children would be pretty straight forward. I would pay attention to their interests and expressed desires throughout the months leading up to Christmas, and then buy a few gifts accordingly. They would delightedly open them on Christmas morning, have fun with the gifts throughout the days and months ahead, and that would be that.
While I wouldn’t say that Christmas shopping is overly complicated in my home, it’s not exactly simple, either. I do pay attention to my children’s interests and desires, but I usually pass the ideas that stem from those onto grandparents and aunts and uncles. And then, knowing that my kids will receive plenty of toys, arts and crafts supplies, and books from their relatives, I have less of an interest in trying to wow them with exciting gifts (or in adding more clutter to my home).
That’s why I’ve decided on a different gift-giving persona. Instead of trying to pick the most fun or exciting presents for my children, I’m go with giving traditional and long lasting gifts that I hope will be meaningful to them for years to come. And in fact, that’s what I’m aiming for in all of my gift-giving, whether it be for my kids, their teachers, our neighbors, or my siblings.
I look for gifts that will spark joy now, not necessarily because they are the newest gadget or have the most trendy style, but because they are timelessly beautiful, and I choose items that I think will be treasured for years, and not just pleasing in the moment.
A lot of gifts that fit into this category are items related to a person’s faith.
If you, too, are interested in giving memorable and meaningful faith-inspired gifts that your friends, family and acquaintances will cherish, look no further!
Gifts for your Children
When I said that I let my relatives purchase all the toys that end up in our home on Christmas morning, that wasn’t entirely accurate. I do buy my children some playful items, but only the ones that I think I will enjoy having in our house as much as they will enjoy having them in our house. This means I look for toys that are made with high quality materials, convey some sort of lesson, and are aesthetically pleasing.
For instance, these Shining Light Dolls are made of soft plush and have beautiful embroidered details. They are delightful to cuddle with and gorgeous to look at. These wooden prayer candles are equally lovely, and I know my kids would love “lighting” them over and over again.
Gifts for your Parents and In-laws
Given the age of my parents and in-laws, I tend to think that they have most of the things in life that they need or want. My parents, at least, are in the pare-down, size-down phase of life. That being said, I like to give this generation consumable gifts – items that can be used up and don’t require a permanent home in a closet or cabinet. Candles and stationary (including greeting cards and journals) are some of my go-to consumable gifts, and I also like to give a good book that can be read and either kept for a later re-read or passed on to someone else.
Gifts for your Children’s Teachers
The type of gift I choose for the teachers of my children definitely depends on the teacher, but usually I try to go with a small item and a gift card to either a place that I know they love (I ask my kids to pay attention to where their teachers say they like to eat and shop; this has the added bonus of getting them in on the joy of giving). I’m thinking that I might go with either this key ring this year (isn’t a key ring just the perfect combination of pretty and practical?) or one of these pretty notepads (what teacher doesn’t need more places to jot down lists and ideas?). If my kids didn’t go to a Catholic school and I wanted a gift for a teacher of a different faith, I’d love to give this Gratitude Journal or this mug.
Gifts for your Sister or Best Friend
I find my sister to be the easiest person on my list to shop for, and that’s because we’re basically the same person. If I want something for myself, I know she’ll like it as well. The hard part in shopping for her is resisting buying two of everything!
I’m currently eyeing this Our Lady Belt Bag, which comes in a gorgeous camel colored vegan leather with gold detail. I know that my sister would find it both beautiful and useful. I’m also loving this St. Joan of Arc Tee; the image of St. Joan is powerful, but it’s the quote underneath of her that I’m especially drawn to: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this." It’s just the kind of message that I want to share with my loved ones.
Happy Christmas shopping!