Advent and Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Photo: Viktor Forgacs, Unsplash Photo: Viktor Forgacs, Unsplash

When you’re shopping for Advent and Christmas gifts and décor, an online retail giant can lack the touch of a locally sourced present. Here are some ideas for Northwest gifts with Catholic flair.

Food and drink

Looking to buy wine for your holiday party or as a gift? Fidelitas Wines is not only highly rated but also run by a Washington state Catholic. The winery’s name is a play on the Latin word for “faithful,” and the business goes by the motto of “faithful, loyal and true.”

Escape to Peace candles
Escape to Peace candles provide funds for an anti-human trafficking non-profit. Photo: Stephen Brashear

Burton Hill Farm Dairy on Vashon Island, run by a St. John Vianney parishioner and his family, sells raw goat’s milk and cheese, soap and other items at a limited number of locations and farmers markets in the Puget Sound area.

If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, the Shaw Island Benedictine nuns at Our Lady of the Rock Monastery sell mustard, herbs, cheese and wool items. But you might have to travel to Shaw Island to get them. You also can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if you can arrange a purchase.

The Trappist Abbey Bakery in Carlton, Oregon, bakes up traditional fruitcake, date-nut cake and tropical dessert cake. Plus they sell creamed honey made by the Cistercian Nuns at Redwood Monastery, which you can also buy directly from the sisters.

Christmas greenery

Why not get your Christmas tree or wreath at a farm run by a Catholic family? Try Country Tree Farm in Renton and Sprouffske Tree Farm in Rainier.

Body and beauty

Catholic Balm Co. is based in Edmonds and sells hand-crafted beard balms, lotion bars, lip balm and accessories. Products are infused with “Catholic” scents like Chrism and Holy Smoke and come with witty messaging like “Peace be with you, and with your skin.” Profits go toward ProjectYM, a Catholic youth ministry program.

Escape to Peace soy candles are sold in scents like gardenia and coconut. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Escape to Peace organization (started by Holy Family Kirkland parishioner), which combats sex trafficking.

knitted animals
St. Placid Priory sells handmade knitted wool items like these miniature items. Photo: Courtesy St. Placid Priory

Arts and crafts

The Benedictine nuns at St. Placid Priory in Lacey sell organic honey bottled by a local beekeeper. The proceeds help support the Congregation of St. Agnes in Tanzania and their school. The monastery store also sells handcrafted items like miniature wool sheep, blankets and prayer shawls. (Sorry, the wool Seahawks Santas are already sold out for this year.)

L’Arche Tahoma Hope’s Farm & Gardens craft program sells cards, journals, books, picture frames, paper, candles, Christmas ornaments and wreaths. All the items, including the paper, are made by people with disabilities.

You can purchase rosaries and decade bracelets made by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at St. Martin’s Abbey in Lacey. He has a limited supply as he makes them for about an hour each evening in his spare time.

Catholic beard balm
Catholic Beard Balm is made locally in Edmonds. Photo: Stephen Brashear

Donate

Make a donation in someone’s name to a Catholic charity, like Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. You’ll see how far your money goes with the online calculator. A $50 donation, for example, is the equivalent of 41 hot meals for the hungry.

Local stores

Buy Catholic Relief Services fair trade items at Ten Thousand Villages stores.

Western Washington Catholic establishments like Kaufer’s Religious Supplies, Alleluia Catholic Store, Vercillo’s Catholic Book & Gift, and Queen of Peace Catholic Store are good places to find a variety of religious-related items and support local businesses.

Roadtrip worthy

The monks at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon started selling their Benedictine Brewery Belgian-style beer this year. But for now, bottles can only be purchased at the monastery bookstore.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Nativity set
Kaufer's sells a variety of Nativity scenes. Photo: Janis Olson


One-stop Christmas shop

Seattle-based Kaufer’s Religious Supplies offers a wide-range of items for the Advent and Christmas seasons. You can get or gift these items easily online.

Two Oregon monasteries make delectable treats that were made for giving:

Brigittine Monks Fudge, made by the Brigittine monks in Amity, Oregon, is available in royale, royale with nuts, amaretto, and pecan praline. The monks’ primary income comes from their confectionary.

“Brigittine
Brigittine Monks Fudge. Photo: Janis Olson

Traditional fruitcake and date-nut cake are the signature items from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey in Carlton, Oregon.

An elegant, classic ceramic Nativity set, featuring Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the three wise men, a shepherd and an angel, will bring the Christmas spirit to your gift recipient.

A Fontanini wood crucifix with hand-painted figure was made in Italy and will be a prayerful reminder in any home.

“The 13th Day” depicts the real-life story behind the Marian apparitions at Fatima. The DVD comes with a companion collector’s booklet, Fatima prayer card and rosary leaflet.

“Christmas with the Holy Fathers” follows the feasts of the Advent and Christmas seasons through the messages of past popes, up through Pope Benedict XVI.

Still stumped? Gift cards are available online, at Kaufer’s South Seattle location at 5201 4th Ave. S., Seattle, or by calling 800-426-3320 (toll free) or 206-622-3100.

Sponsored by Kaufer’s Religious Supplies
Anna Weaver

Anna Weaver was the multimedia, online and social media editor, and writer for Northwest Catholic from 2013-2018.

Website: annapweaver.com