We’ve got the rest of your list covered in our fourth and final installment of our 2017 Catholic shoppers’ guide: jewelry for moms, books for teens, T-shirts for toddlers and don’t forget those Christmas cards!
by Jeanie Egolf
We started this shopping journey highlighting 17 cool Catholic gift ideas, added in housewarming and personalized baby gifts, and rounded the corner with hair bows for girls and mugs for men. Now onto the final four: moms, teens, toddlers and Christmas cards. We’ve got you covered.
Happy Nest Home Goods: Unique Jewelry, Ornaments, Commemorate Loss
With stores on both Etsy and Peter’s Square (the “Catholic Etsy” I wrote about here, Happy Nest Home Goods owner Theresa Conlan said, “making the items in my shop brings me such joy, and keeps my hands busy when I’m not chasing my little one around the house.”
Just looking at Theresa’s Etsy shop is a feast for female eyes (although there are some masculine rosaries and decor as well.) And I learned something new — you can wear your favorite essential oils in jewelry! I think the Our Lady of Guadalupe diffuser necklace is just the bee’s knees. (Hint, hint, any family or friends reading this.) Not only are there several types of Our Lady necklaces, including the hugely popular Fatima jewelry, she makes diffusers in earrings, too.
One of the items especially close to her heart is the mama bird nest necklace which is customized with number and color of eggs to represent all the children in a family, including ones in heaven.
“I’ve always felt very drawn to comforting women’s hurting hearts. Many of the items were originally designed to help heal my heart after our first loss in 2016. Making items to acknowledge the little ones we love but can’t see and to serve their grieving mothers has brought me a lot of peace and healing,” Conlan said.
And yes, she hand-embroiders each one of these tiny things. Happy Nest Home Goods is a not-to-be-missed cyber stop on your Shop Catholic This Christmas tour. Get your embroidery orders in by Dec. 10, but beaded items can be ordered up through Dec. 16. And, just for our Peanut Butter & Grace readers, there is a coupon code! Enter PBGFREESHIP17 at checkout.
Catholic Teen Reads: My Pick for Middle Graders to Young Adult
Got a reader on your list? If you haven’t yet perused the amazing list of authors and titles over at Catholic Teen Books, you have got to check them out. While not an artisan or store per se, this is an excellent site that is updated regularly with book reviews, new releases and links for purchasing (although the books can be purchased at any bookstore.)
I caught up with Theresa Linden, bestselling author of Catholic Press Association award-winners “Battle for His Soul” and “Roland West, Loner.” Linden, who homeschools her three teenage sons, said: “Catholic Teen Books is a lay organization of authors committed to the writing and promotion of exciting novels for Catholic teens, in the hope of counteracting the anti-God culture that permeates society today and leaves young adults with very few wholesome literature choices. Every book on this site is either written by a Catholic, has a Catholic publisher, or contains Catholic characters or a Catholic message. Every book featured reflects the beauty of the Catholic faith and in some way raises the heart and mind to God, instead of dragging souls downward.”
I personally love reading … eh hem, I mean “buying for my kids,” these books. Ok, I’ll admit it: there are more than a few books on there that I haven’t been able to put down. Genres range from sci-fi to romance, so there is something for everyone.
Annunciation Designs: Cute Toddler Tees and Christmas Cards
Elayne Miller, a math teacher at Bishop Fenwick High School in Dayton, Ohio, calls her Annunciation Designs store on Etsy “a hand-lettered greeting card shop.” But her craft extends to clothing and tea towels as well as journals and jewelry.
“The name Annunciation Designs comes from the angel Gabriel’s sharing with Mary the news that she would become the God-bearer,” said Miller.
Hot off the t-shirt presses this season are cutesy-kiddie-sized “I’m a pencil in the hand of God” and the super-popular Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati-inspired “verso l’alto” (toward the top) designs.
And look at the gorgeous cards which can be purchased in bulk at a discount. Sending out Christmas cards is an important way I stay in touch with friends and relatives I don’t get to see very often. I strongly believe in the 12 days of Christmas principle when it comes to mailing out things, so I don’t stress about cards not going in the mail until Jan. 4 or so. I call it an act of service to our post office friends.
Last day for orders at Annunciation Designs is Dec. 12, and Peanut Butter & Grace readers are invited to enjoy an extra 10 percent off by entering “Christmas10” at checkout.
Happy Advent and Happy Shopping!
Friends, this has been the finale of our four-part series encouraging solidarity among fellow Catholic businesses. I hope that you have discovered some new favorite shops. Keep digging — there are many more out there who need our support. Most importantly, I hope that I have succeeded in taking a little bit of the stress off the season so that we all have more time to focus on preparing our hearts for Jesus’ coming.
Jeanie Egolf is the creator of the Molly McBride picture books which foster religious vocations through children’s fiction. For more information on the Molly McBride series, please visit www.mollymcbrideandthepurplehabit.com.