I’ve had several friends mention online that they’re either well into Christmas shopping or, gasp, they’ve completed it altogether. I’ve never been one who gets too much accomplished before December, at least in the gift department. I often try to make gifts. The result is numerous late night crafting sessions that do little to emulate a peaceful Advent or joyful Christmas demeanor.
This year, I’d really like to try to just buy other people’s handcrafted goods or support my friends running small businesses. Because, honestly, I want to avoid Target on December 23 at all costs. Plus, most of my family has everything they need. Fewer, higher quality items vs mountains of plastic seems much more appealing. I also usually find several gifts via thrift stores, but it can be unreliable, especially if you wait too long to go and find nice gifts, i.e. things that don’t smell like moth balls or have unexplained stains.
So here’s my Christmas Gift Guide, feel free to substitute St. Nicholas Day or Epiphany in the title if that’s how you roll. Click on the pictures to be taken to the complete item listing. Remember, when buying handmade items it’s important to shop early to make sure the crafter has time to make your item along with all their other orders. Rush shipping may not be available. None of these businesses have reimbursed me in order to be featured here, though there are a couple of affiliate links. Not all of the crafters sell strictly Catholic items and I cannot vouch for other items in their stores.
For the gents
In a touch screen era, I still think there’s something very warm and compelling about a handmade pen. These are made by a young friend of ours so I can vouch for their quality. (His mom also pours the best soy candles; creativity obviously runs in the family.)
I think this one decade St. Joseph rosary from Loreto Rosaries would be just the thing for my husband’s commute.
Be the life of the party and make your homebrew look great.
A necktie that displays the apocalypse? In several liturgical colors?! It gives new meaning to the term sharp dressed man.
I don’t get this whole ‘Breaking Bad’ thing, but apparently it’s pretty huge because you can now get BB slippers.
For more men’s suggestions, view my Catholic Men: Christmas Gift Guide on Etsy.
For the ladies
Just because the weather’s getting chilly, doesn’t mean you need to look as stylish and puffed up as the Michelin Man in order to stay warm. Erica’s got your back…or head.
If you love the beach as much as I do then this pearl and sea glass rosary from Rosaries by Allison will become your new favorite.
The coffee mug for moms who really love “coffee”.
Immaculata Designs has some of the most unique handmade medals I’ve ever seen. Today’s favorite is this one of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
By the time Christmas arrives, my hands are usually raw from scrubbing thanks to diaper changes and sickness. Nothing like some all natural hand cream featuring four thieves properties to take care of them.
For more women’s suggestions, visit my Catholic Women: Christmas Gift Guide on Etsy.
For the littles
My kids have grown up with Illuminated Ink and I always get excited when their inventory expands; t-shirts to color, rosary holders, grotto kits, etc. There’s no shortage of ways to busy little hands on a cold day inside.
There are several great crafters producing beautiful hand painted saint peg dolls. I’m featuring St. Anne’s Studio here, but be sure to check out my Etsy Treasury for more examples. Forget Little People; make way for the pegs!
American Girl merchandise is grossly overpriced. There are independent crafters making beautiful clothes for 18 inch dolls and their owners. Despite over hearing an American Girl employee tell someone that “girls don’t want to wear the historical clothes” my daughters are begging for some of these dresses this Christmas.
Like the peg dolls, you have several options for saint dolls. For older children I’m biased towards Frassencraft.
For younger ones, I love sanctusstiches, their saint dolls and their cute Lord of the Rings set.
For more children’s suggestions, visit my Catholic Children: Christmas Gift Guide on Etsy.
What independent crafters do you recommend? Be sure to leave a link in the comments! And yes, use this opportunity for a little self promotion. Although this is slightly more than five favorites, I did mange to keep it to only five favorites per category so I’m linking up at Hallie’s too. Don’t forget to head back over there as well.