Jennifer Barton
November 19, 2019 // Diocese

Advent gift guide

Jennifer Barton

The gift of experiences

As the celebration of Jesus’ birth draws near, Mary comes to the forefront as well. From Nov. 30-March 8, loved ones can view images of Mary through a membership at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, which is hosting the exhibit “Theotokos: Contemporary Visions of Mary.” Various membership levels are available and gallery admission can be enjoyed year-round. Visit for more information.

In 2020, Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center is offering an overnight retreat package, including three meals on the relaxing campus to be used whenever the recipient chooses. Packages are $65 and available at

The gift of beauty

During the cold winter months when the Earth is dormant and bare, the gift of flowers can brighten the season with bold splashes of reds, greens and cool whites. Or how about a genuine evergreen Advent wreath or garland to celebrate the coming of Christ?

Area florists also offer a wide assortment of holiday decor. Even decorative treat baskets can be delivered locally. Visit Wygant Floral Co. in South Bend ( or Cottage Flowers in Fort Wayne (

The gift of taste

The holiday season often revolves around sharing a festive meal at the table with friends and family. So why not gift the meal itself?

Fresh or smoked meats please the palate of even the most difficult to buy for. Beef jerky and snack sticks are perfect for care packages for loved ones who cannot make it home for Christmas, especially those serving in the military during the holidays. Or even give the cook a break from the stress and work by having the Christmas meal catered through a local restaurant or butcher shop such as Feders Meats in Fort Wayne (

For the chocolate and coffee, connoiseurs there are gift-giving opportunities that come with the bonus of supporting monks and nuns throughout the country. Mystic Monk Coffee sells numerous blends, including specialties for Christmas, available at some Catholic bookstores and online at

Cloistered nuns at Monastery Candy produce a variety of delicious caramels and chocolates to support their lives of prayer, which can be purchased at

The gift of knowledge

One should never stop learning, and to learn about the beauty of the Catholic faith is a far more precious gift than fine jewelry or expensive electronics.

For young children, there are many wonderful books such as the Magnificat Bible, Book of Saints and Little Catechism. If children learn through play, toy Nativities such as the Little People set and Mass kits are appropriate gifts.

For Catholic moms, Colleen Duggan’s book “Good Enough is Good Enough” and Lisa Hendey’s updated “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms” are great options for spiritual growth.

“The Catholic Gentleman: Living Authentic Manhood Today” by Sam Guzman is a man’s guide on how to live a virtuous life in our modern age.

An excellent answer to “Why do we do that?” is Father William Saunders’ “Celebrating a Merry Catholic Christmas,” which gives parents the answers to common questions and provides a guide for family spiritual life through Advent and Christmas.

The gift of holiness

In the true spirit of Christmas, a gift that points a loved one toward Jesus is profoundly appropriate. Catholic bookstores are treasure troves of gift ideas, and not only for books and sacramentals. Statuary, crucifixes, wall hangings and even kitchen items are available at stores such as Good Shepherd Books & Gifts in Fort Wayne and Divine Mercy Gifts in the South Bend area. If you are looking for an item that is not in store, chances are it can be ordered.

Another interesting household item is the wall rosary, a beautiful piece for decoration and a reminder to call Mother. Along with handmade rosaries, rosary hangers and other inspired items, they can be found in various colors at

The gift of fun

The Catholic Card Game is a mix-and-match game that Catholics will find hilarious, clean and sure to liven up any family gathering. Aside from the base deck, there is an expansion pack for teens and one for generations. Available at

“Drinking with Saint Nick: Christmas Cocktails for Sinners and Saints:” The title says it all. Christmas is meant to be enjoyed, and none celebrate it better than the saints. And after all, who wouldn’t want to celebrate Christmas with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick?

Special events and festivities

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.