I admit it. I’m a sucker for the “suggested for you” and the Christmas gift lists sent out by my favorite writers (and retailers) around this time of year. If you put any stock in the 5 love languages, one of mine is definitely gifts, and I love scouring websites and catalogs for something both beautiful and meaningful for those I love during this time of year.
But, rather than suggest something for your spouse or best friend, or that special something for someone who has everything or wants nothing (two different states, mind you), I thought that this year I’d share just four gifts that might make for a more meaningful season—one more connected to the sacred and sacramental, to God and to one another.
So, in no particular order they are:
Every Moment Holy
This beautiful book of liturgies became my favorite book of 2017 as soon as I got it into my hands. Leather bound, full of original handcut prints, Douglas Kaine McKelvey’s book is both practical and sacred. In these pages you’ll find liturgies for changing diapers, liturgies for the death of a pet, liturgies before medical procedures, liturgies for feasting with friends, and more. They are meant to be used both communally and personally, and I believe that they’ll change the way you experience your every day life. Plus, it’s published by The Rabbit Room, which is a publishing house worth supporting. You can purchase yours here.
And if you’d like to experience one of McKelvey’s liturgies, you can download A Liturgy For A Husband & Wife At Close of Day.
A Christian Calendar
I’ve anticipated the release of the Christian Season calendar every year for the past five years. This calendar is full of original contemporary artwork, which is enough of a reason to purchase it in and of itself. But, more than that, this calendar is not shaped around the January to December year. It begins with the start of the Christian year, the first day of Advent, and traces the seasons instead of the world’s boxes of weeks and months. For example, one of the spreads is Holy Week, which includes Scriptures for reading on each day, and shapes the focus and importance of the week in the flow of the whole year.
Sacred Ordinary Days publishes a daily planner that includes the practice of Examen, developing a Rule of Life, and other wonderful resources for engaging God in your day-to-day life. However, since I’m the mom of a young child, I’m actually going to focus on one of their not-so-well-known resources, the Examen dolls.
There are two versions of these hand-stitched dolls (and, if you’re a sewer, you could probably replicate them yourself, but I’m not), which are inspired by the Ignatian Prayer of Examen. They can definitely be used as an adult, but they are intended as a tool for engaging a younger child in exploring where God has been in their experience of their day. The dolls provide a tactile way of talking through feelings, the nearness of God, and how your child has heard from God in their day.
Sisterhood Soap: Preemptive Love Coalition
The Preemptive Love Coalition does incredible work around the world with those in war torn or at risk situations. You can purchase a variety of gifts from their shop that help those in need and support the work of Preemptive Love Coalition, but I love Sisterhood Soap in particular because of the person-to-person connection of the necessity and beauty of soap. As their website says, each item in this gift set is hand-crafted by a different refugee. Each one displaced by violence, each one rebuilding their lives. Every bar of soap, every washcloth, and every hand-crafted soap dish helps create a new future full of hope and possibility—for not one but three families.
And, of course, if you’re looking for a way of entering into the seasons of Advent, Christmas & Epiphany in a more communal, slow, and sacred way, you can join me for When The Heart Waits: Accepting the Invitations of Advent, Christmas & Epiphany: