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2009 Christmas Gift Guide

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NCR EGISTER.COM NAT IONA L CAT HOLIC R EGIST ER NOV E M BE R 8 -14 , 2 0 09

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Christmas

2009

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Gift Guide
42 Fab Finds
BY L O R I H A D AC E K C H A P L I N

T
(Prices subject to change.)

his year’s gift guide offers ideas that will appeal to a variety of tastes. Most of the suggestions came on the market this year, and the majority of them are under $25. Read on to find the perfect gift for the devout, for foodies, the ecological-minded, sports buffs, plus toys for children and much more, as we await the greatest gift, the Nativity.

TOYS
Toasty Spa Friends Toasty Spa Friends aren’t your ordinary stuffed animals. These comforting toys are filled with food-grade flax seed and nine aromatic herbs that have a pleasant, but not overwhelming, smell. There are more than 40 different designs, from Teddy Bears to Barnyard Friends. Put in the microwave to make them warm or in the freezer to make them cool for bumps and bruises. From $17.95 to $38.95, from Sootheze.com

Bebe Cheri Eloise The updated, cuddly 20-inch Bebe Cheri Eloise is the size of a real baby. She even wears real baby fashions (size 3-6 months). In 1979, Bebe Cheri Eloise was one of the first dolls made by Corolle. For ages 3 and older. $86.89, from KazooToys.com

Mini-Wheels Book It’s both a book and a fire truck! Little ones will have fun pushing around this sturdy, diecut Mini-Wheels: Mini Fire Engine board book by Peter Lippman (Workman Publishing) and reading about how the fire ducks put out the fire. $9.95, from retail outlets

Crayon Town Kids (age 4 and older) can create their own 3-D town with the Crayon Town activity set. Included in the set are crayons, coloring sheets, corrugated pop-up buildings and accessories such as animals, people and vehicles, depending on the themed collections. Free coloring sheet refills are available online. $14.95 from ShopWildPlanet.com or (866) 477-9869.

shutterstock photo

Deuteronomy 15:10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

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NAT IONA L CAT HOL IC R EGIST ER , NOV E M BER 8 , 2009

2009 Gift Guide
Discovery Playhouse The Discovery Playhouse is a little interactive hideaway. Little ones can use the keys to unlock different shapes and release the balls. Outside, they can put the balls on the ramps and into tubes. There are also a mirror and other interactive toys sewn into the fabric. $99, from Intplay.com

FOR FOOD LOVERS

KIDS’ CORNER
Tonight You Are My Baby “Tomorrow you will be King, but tonight you are my baby,” is the poetic refrain in this illustrated story about Mary’s love for Baby Jesus called Tonight You Are My Baby by Jeannine Q. Norris (Harper Blessing). For ages 3-6. $14.44, from retail outlets

Emergency Response Toy Set Little boys (age 4 and older) will enjoy racing the police motorcycle, ambulance and police cruiser to the rescue. This Emergency Response Toy Set also includes four figures, plus accessories such as a bull horn, walkie talkies, barriers, street cones and more. The best part is that the ambulance and police cruiser have flashing lights! $84.99, from Intplay.com Spy Gear Protect your room from invaders and uncover all of the clues with Spy Gear’s Lazer TripWire Security System and the Evidence Kit: AllIn-One Inspection Set. Lazer TripWire includes three units, which are similar to the ones banks and museums use. The Evidence Kit features fingerprinting tools, a 30x microscope, LED flashlight/UV Blacklight, and more. $22.95 (Evidence Kit) $24.95 (TripWire), from ShopWildPlanet.com

A Taste of Heaven Foodies, tourists and those interested in monastic life will enjoy Madeline Scherb’s book A Taste of Heaven: A Guide to Food and Drink Made by Monks and Nuns. In an easy conversational style, Scherb tells us interesting stories and facts about monasteries and convents around the world — about what they make and how they live. $15.95, from Penguin.com Foods Jesus Ate Gardeners and cooks will especially enjoy reading Foods Jesus Ate, and How to Grow Them, by Allan A. Swenson (Skyhorse Publishing). Illustrated with photographs, this book covers a short history of the food, a reference to it in Scripture, nutritional and growing information, along with cooking tips and recipes. $11.21, from retail outlets

Around the Year: Once Upon a Time Saints The third and latest in the “Once Upon a Time Saints” stories, Around the Year: Once Upon a Time Saints, by Ethel Pochocki and illustrated by Ben Hatke, shows the human and lovable sides of saints. Each chapter features stories and poems for all the months of the year. For ages 10 and up. $14.95, from BethlehemBooks.com or (800) 757-6831.

Hybrid Outdoor Light The Mission-style National Geographic Solar Sierra 10 1/2-inch Hybrid Wall Light from the Preserve Our Planet Hybrid Lighting Collection is a costefficient solution to outdoor lighting. From dusk to dawn, the LED lights are lit automatically by a light-sensing unit. If extra light is needed, switch on the CFL bulb (requires hardwired installation). $129.99, from LampsPlus.com/NatGeoHybrid or (800) 782-1967.

FOR THE SPORTS FAN
Jerusalem City Map Baseball Bergino sells handmade baseballs with wraparound artwork. We liked the Jerusalem City Map Baseball, which includes the Old City and other important religious sites such as Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Monastery of the Cross. Includes gift box/turf base stand. $20, from Bergino.com or (800) 556-9420.

Literati Challenge Game Do you know the definition of the word “obviate”? How about “antediluvian”? Vocab nuts will go crazy for the Literati Challenge Game. Two or more players or teams write a story from five vocabulary words chosen from the stack of cards. The challenge is to convince the other players that you know the meaning of the words — even if you don’t. For ages 15 and up. $29.95, from retail outlets

FASHION-FORWARD GIFTS
Kameleon Jewelry For the versatile woman there is Kameleon Jewelry’s JewelPops. Choose from hundreds of JewelPop designs and stones — including semiprecious stones — which fit interchangeably in Kameleon’s base jewelry designs, such as rings, earrings, necklaces, pins and pendants. $15 to $99 (base jewelry); $20 to $39 (JewelPops), from KameleonJewelry.com or (866) 431-4484. Bella Hat She’ll be pleased with how lovely she looks in Wallaroo Hat Company’s angora knit Bella Hat. This stylish hat sits comfortably, but snuggly, on the head; it’s lined, so no itchy head. Comes in three colors: mocha, gray and black. $40, from WallarooHats.com or (888) 925-2766. Necklace If she loves elegance, then she’ll be thrilled with Full of Grace Spirited Shopping’s Mary Ellen holy medals’ necklace. This layered necklace includes three strands of gold-filled chain, freshwater pearls and semiprecious stone chain. The old brass cross and the petite enamel medal are vintage, so every necklace is an original. $175 (16-inch extends to 18-inch), from Spiritually-Hip.com

RELIGIOUS GIFTS
Saints Encyclopedia The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Saints by Tessa Paul briefly tells the stories of more than 500 saints. Each saint is richly illustrated with art and, for later saints, their actual photographs. The book defines what makes a saint, discusses canonization, blesseds, martyrs, miracles, holy relics, pilgrimages and more. $25.55, from retail outlets Porcelain Rosary & Prayer Cards This lovely painted (with butterflies), porcelain-beaded rosary is prayerfully handmade by a Catholic family and can be personalized by choosing a patron saint medal of your choice. CatholicPrayerCards.org also has a large selection of traditional and unique prayer cards. Rosary $19.99; Prayer card (157 sampler pack) $22.95, from CatholicPrayerCards.org or (888) 244-2788. Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire Discover what made Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who she was — an icon of compassion — in Father Joseph Langford’s book Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire. The book’s central theme is Mother Teresa’s encounter with Christ on a train to Darjeeling when Christ tells her, “I thirst.” $19.95, from OSV.com or (800) 348-2440.

FOR THE BETROTHED
Catholic Ceremony Bible Engaged couples will treasure the Catholic Ceremony Bible. This beautifully bound Bible is not only for the marriage ceremony; it’s to be used as a family Bible. Included in the front are pages for record keeping of special dates. Catholic and Protestant editions. $75 (9 1/4-inch-by-11 3/4inch-by-2 1/2-inch), from HeirloomForever.com or (316) 267-3211.

Golf Help DVD “Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game” (2009) provides practical instruction on how to improve your short game in golf. The golf pro teaches the principles of putting, the chip shot, his famous flop shot and more. High-speed camera shots make it easy to see precise positions and movements. $44.99 (twodisc DVD), from retail outlets Sporty Wrist Wallet Active folks and travelers will appreciate the Banjees Reversible Wrist Wallet, which holds cash, keys, IDs and even small cell phones in a zippered pouch. $14.95, from Sprigsville.com or (888) 327-2241.

Jam Recipes Fruits of the Earth: 100 Recipes for Jams, Pickles, and Preserves reveals all of Gloria Nicol’s preserving secrets and more. She gives us luscious recipes for Rose Hip Jelly, Tutti Frutti Jam, Spiced Blackberry Jam and many more — including recipes for curds, nectars, chutneys and preserved fruits. $18.96, from retail outlets

GO GREEN!
Skin Care Gift Set Young and old alike will appreciate Joshua Tree’s Skin Care Gift Set, consisting of one jar of organic salve (50 milliliters) and three lip balms: Mountain Mint, Healing Mint and Luscious Lavender (my favorite). $21.60 from JTreeLife.com or (734) 223-0334.

FAMILY GIFT
Samsung Digital Camera If you know a shutterbug who especially likes to take portrait shots, then the Samsung SL202 10.2 megapixel digital camera is the right gift. The camera has a Perfect Portrait system with a Beauty Shot feature that automatically retouches the subject’s face. It also has a 3x optical zoom and a large 2.7-inch LCD screen. $129, from retail outlets

Practical Gifts
Ready Wrench Black & Decker’s All-in-I Socket Ready Wrench allows you to spin to a smaller or larger socket size — up to 16 standard sizes. Socket sizes are easy to see because they’re etched and baked in color into each socket. $29.95, from BDOnlineStore.com MocSocks No more cold feet with MocSocks moccasinstyle socks for men and women. Made from Polartec Fleece, the socks are soft, warm, stain/ odor-resistant, and the material won’t pill like other types of fleece. $22, from Janska.com or (866) 452-6752. Dictionary Bookmark Never have to wonder what a word means while reading because The New York Times PageMark Dictionary will be tucked between the pages of your latest book. Students and avid readers will like how easy it is to quickly look up words in the PageMark’s Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (contains 400,000 definitions). $59.95 (4 inches by 6 inches), from Franklin.com or (800) 266-5626. Automatic Computer Backup No more risk of failed hard drives with the Clickfree Automatic Backup. This nifty portable drive can copy the contents of up to 15 computers — from your kid’s school laptops to your dad’s work computer. $119.99, from Clickfree.com or (866) 680-0516.

Echoes of Ephesus Listen to the sweet sounds of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles sing original compositions and traditional hymns, including Gregorian chant, polyphonic and unison pieces in their “Echoes of Ephesus” CD. $20, from BenedictinesofMary.org

Marian Prayer Book Song to Mary: Timeless Marian Prayers, compiled by Renzo Sala, includes nine songs or prayers to Mary, first in Latin and then in English, with a short history of the prayer. This pocket-sized book is illustrated with masterpieces of Gothic and Renaissance miniatures. $9.95, from Pauline.org or (800) 836-9723.

Recycled Glass Earrings Christy Fisher’s Crackle Glass Earrings are made by hand in her Jerome, Ariz., studio from a combination of recycled glass chips and 24-karat gold leaf. Available in several colors (shown in Malachite). $12, from Shop.ChristyFisher.com Personalized Engraved Water Bottle Pick one of Greensender’s designs or create your own personal design for the environmentally conscious SIGG Water Bottle. This gift is not only useful; it will also last forever. The Swiss-engineered SIGG is virtually unbreakable and has a special coating inside so there is no lingering smell or taste from the previous beverage. $14 (20 ounces) to $31 (34 ounces) from GreenSender.com or (973) 821-4213.

Baseball Quiz Name That Ballplayer: The Ultimate Baseball “Whodunnit?” Quiz by Wayne Stewart (Skyhorse Publishing) is a game patterned after the popular game show called “Name That Tune.” The player who guesses the name of the ball player with the fewest clues wins the game. $8.22, from retail outlets

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
Jonas Brothers Fans of the Jonas Brothers will enjoy the Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience movie. We especially liked the behind-thescenes shot, which revealed them praying before a concert. These boys love their mom and are clean-cut; when astonished they say, “Oh my goodness.” $24.99 (Two-Disc Extended Edition plus Digital Copy) from retail outlets The Robe The Robe was the first movie to be released in Cinemascope, in 1953. This biblical epic, based on a book by the same name, tells the story of tribune Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton), who was sent to oversee Christ’s crucifixion. Later he is provoked to try on Christ’s robe, which causes him to first fear, and later to seek to know Christ. $17.99, from retail outlets Bolt Easily the best animation of 2009, Bolt is a clever story about a dog who thinks he has superpowers; he doesn’t realize the character he plays on TV is not real. Thinking the storyline where his owner, Penny, is kidnapped is reality, he leaves the studio — the only home he has ever known — to rescue her. $23.99 (three-disc edition), from retail outlets

FOR THE FITNESS LOVER
MBT Shoes In MBT shoes, you don’t walk — you roll. The rolling action of these shoes eases knee, back, neck and joint pain — and it also helps tone and shape the mid and lower body. The shoes have been scientifically proven to increase fitness levels of the wearer. I especially liked that the shoes helped improve my posture. Starting at $99.90, from retail outlets

based on the artwork of pediatric patients. Proceeds send the patients on a weeklong camping trip. Plate is food-, dishwasher- and microwave-safe. $15, from ChildrensArt.org or (800) 231-1580. Transfer Photos Know someone who has all of their photos on their hard drive — but no hard copies? With the Rocket Life Photo Book they can easily transfer their cherished memories into a fullcolor photo album. Just launch Rocket Life’s online software to upload an unlimited number of photos. This company has prompt and helpful customer service. $9.95 to $35.95 (for 20 pages, additional pages cost extra), from RocketLife.com or (888) 765-4669.

GET CREATIVE!
Bethlehem Plate This hand-painted earthenware Bethlehem Plate was designed by a cancer patient named Carlo (age 13) from El Paso, Texas. The Children’s Art Project sells products

Roomba The Roomba 560, a round disk that self-vacuums, is like having a little maid. After testing the Roomba for three weeks, I told my husband, “Forget diamonds — I want a Roomba.” With the touch of a button, the Roomba cleans carpets and hard floors. It’s especially handy at cleaning under furniture, in corners, and at wall edges. It doesn’t replace the modern housewife, but it will make her life easier. $379.99, from Store.IRobot.com Lori Hadacek Chaplin writes from Nampa, Idaho. This is a reprint from the Register’s sister publication, Faith & Family magazine.

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A Classical Christmas
Powerful gift ideas will remind your family that Jesus is the reason for the season.
BY T I M D R A K E REGISTER SENIOR WRITER

A GIFT THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL TREASURE! Treasures of the Church Press
presents:

Sticker Crèche Children, if they’re anything like our youngest, love Nativity sets that they can play with. This book features the story of Christ’s birth, along with seven empty scenes. Children can choose stickers of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, shepherds and animals to complete each scene. A guide at the end of the book will help younger children. It’s a great way for children to create their own Nativity without breaking the family’s porcelain Nativity set. My First Christmas Sticker Book by Sally Ann Wright and Moira Maclean ($6.95), from Pauline.org

St. Nicholas’ Secret For those seeking a more historically accurate story about St. Nicholas, this recently published book is perfect. It tells the story of how the young Nicholas secretly used his inheritance to save three daughters. Beautifully illustrated with watercolors by Lon Eric Craven, the book reminds readers that while the myths surrounding Santa Claus are madeup, he was inspired by the story of a very real man and bishop, St. Nicholas of Myra. The Secret of St. Nicholas by Ellen Nibali ($16.95), from FairlandBooks. com

First Martyrs The Story of Saint Perpetua is the first in the Catholic Heroes of the Faith series. Though the graphics are simplistic, the storytelling and the pace of this animation is exciting. The movie opens with Sts. Perpetua, Felicity and their companions being thrown to the beasts, and then flashes back to their capture and imprisonment. We see Perpetua, standing before the Roman proconsul, boldly refusing to honor false gods — not even to save her life for the sake of her infant son. The story is based on St. Perpetua’s journal. Recommended for children 8 and older. The Story of Saint Perpetua (DVD, $12.99), from CatholicVideo.com or (800) 476-2492. — Lori Hadacek Chaplin

L ift U p Y our H earts
Rediscovering the Mass and the Celebrations of Our Faith
Written by Alex Duketow Foreword by Father Tom Lynch
(National Director, Priests for Life - Canada)

A new 164 page hardcover, illustrated devotional designed to help families, couples, and individuals enter more deeply into the Mass and the life of our Faith. A gift appropriate for RCIA, First Communions, Confirmations, Christmas.

Yuletide Classics This incomparable set of three Christmas classics is beautifully illustrated by the warm oil paintings of P.J. Lynch. The set includes The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and The Gift of the Magi, all offered together in a sturdy slipcase. It would make a wonderful gift for the book lover in the family. Classic Christmas Collection (Candlewick Press) by P.J. Lynch ($26.40), from retail outlets Tim Drake writes from St. Joseph, Minnesota. Painted Angels Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this lavish children’s picture book tells the story of Christmas through paintings by some of the world’s greatest artists. It’s a treat for parents to read with their children. Featuring excerpts from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the book depicts the Nativity and tells the Christmas story as it should be read. Stunning artwork depicts the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Visit of the Magi, the Flight to Egypt and more. An index at the end of the book provides details on each painting, its painter, country of origin and when it was painted. The Christmas Story ($16.95), from AbramsBooks.com

~75 beautiful illustrations

~ 3 simple reflections for every Sunday and Solemnity

~ Nihil obstat and Imprimatur granted

“Alex opens up the treasures of our Sundays and Feasts, new and old, by art, scripture and reflections.”
Father Thomas A. Lynch, STL, National Director, Priests For Life (Canada)

“I am quite taken by the beauty of the book, and see it as being a useful tool, especially helping familes to teach their children ... I highly recommend it to the Catholic faithful.”
Most Rev. Nicola De Angelis, Bishop of Peterborough

To order call 1-877-652-0590, for more info visit www.tofcpress.com
cost including shipping:$25 each, $21 each (5 or more), $16 each (20 or more)

A Veggie Noel In one of the most religious titles to come from VeggieTales, this DVD provides a cartoonish take on St. Nicholas, providing the historical basis for Santa in the person of the saint. Like most VeggieTales, it plays loose with history, but both parents and children will find something to enjoy in this cute video. My wife and I enjoyed Mr. Lunt’s frequent song references, while our children enjoyed the slapstick humor. The animated film teaches the real reason for the season and also teaches about the joy of giving. Catholics, in particular, will like the introduction of VeggieTales’ first Veggie nun — Sister Clare — who sings a beautiful song about Christ’s love. The DVD also includes the new Matthew West and Amy Grant song, “Give This Christmas Away.” VeggieTales’ Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving ($12.70), from SacredHeartBooksandGifts.com

P

Spend Advent with

ope Benedict XVI
New!

The Doll With a Call Set aside the stuffed animal and the American Girl knockoff. There’s a new doll in town, and this one just might help your son or daughter think about the possibility of a religious vocation. Father Juan Pablo and Sister Mary Clara are 16-inch plush vocation dolls. Each doll comes with a booklet that highlights vocation stories of priests and religious women from a variety of orders, allowing children an inside look at the real-life call experienced by priests and nuns. The booklet also has ideas for parents on fostering religious vocations within the family. $29.99, from WeeBelievers.com

Preparing for Christmas with Pope Benedict XVI
An Advent Novena
This novena allows readers to join in prayer with the Holy Father in preparation for the birth of Christ. Each of the nine days contains readings and prayers from scripture as well as various writings of Pope Benedict XVI. Available for the first time in English, this Advent companion is brief enough to be used whenever a few minutes are available and can easily be carried in a purse or pocket. Preparing for Christmas with Pope Benedict XVI is suitable for both personal and group use.
Paperback / 64 pages / $2.50

ONLY $2.00 EACH (with orders over $300)

’Tis Almost the Season

Day One: Jesus Comes to Do the Father’s Will Day Two: God’s Kingship Day Three: The Just One Day Four: We Need Angels Day Five: Mary, the Mother Who Said Yes

T hemes of the Novena:

Day Six: On the Path of Charity Day Seven: In Conversation with God Day Eight: Directed to Christ Day Nine: Sun of Justice

Also New for Advent 2009
Wise Register advertisers don’t wait till the Advent candles are lit to start their Christmas campaigns. Advertise now — and in our upcoming Christmas issues — and watch your phones light up all season long.

The Gift of Hope
Advent and Christmas Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition
Paperback / 96 pages / $3.50

Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2009–2010
Paperback / 96 pages / $2.50

Keep Christ in Christmas

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Christmas Gift Showcase
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NAT IONA L CAT HOL IC R EGIST ER , NOV E M BER 8 , 2009

Gift Ideas for the Discerning Catholic Giver
Give the Gift of Faith

powerful resource on the Mass
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Private formula of Pope Pius IX

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Making Music Praying Twice
Music and Movement for the Catholic Child

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One of a Kind Sculpture by Suzanne M. Young

Bring the True Meaning of Christmas Into a Child’s Life.

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Learn how we can help your parish run a fiscally selfsufficient, high quality, Catholic music program for families of young children (ages 0-5)

Music

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Or order our Homeschool Edition for genuine, quality, early childhood music education for your family (ages 0-8)

Looking for a special gift? Visit: www.ReligiousSculptureBySMY.com

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A Very Special Christmas Gift

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Featured Catholic Documentary:

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Purchase John Michael’s New BOOK, “Reflections on St. Francis” and “Living Water” CD and receive the “Concert Songs” Download Card (a $10 value)

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Understanding the redemptive nature of human suffering This 90 minute documentary explores the epidemics of obesity and sexually transmitted disease and their link to a physically, morally and spiritually suffering American populace.

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Vocation
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Description: The National Catholic Register's 2009 Christmas Gift Guide