Avoiding Black Friday chaos

Every year on Black Friday, vast amounts of people line up in the early a.m. hours, just hoping to grab that coveted gift before it sells out.  There’s pushing, yelling, and occassional stampedes.  And every year for as long as I can remember, there has always been those who are injured.

Now, I have to admit, the proceeding news stories that night which show mothers and the alike passionately arguing over a stuffed toy is fairly amusing (does anyone remember the particular Black Friday chaos surrounding “Tickle Me Elmo” ?!).   But in this, the digital age, these people’s behavior is mostly just bewildering.

Why, oh why, would you not just shop online?!

Almost every mass produced item or “hot”  gift out there is online, ready for purchase with just a click of the button.  Stand outside with “elbows out”  at 4 a.m. in the freezing cold, or sit in my pajamas and surf the web?  The choice seems painfully obvious.

We’ll even help you streamline the online process!  According to Amazon.com, below are three of the most anticipated gifts of 2010:

1. A Kindle: Lightweight, portable, environmentally friendly, and relatively cheap (starting at $139).  Like a book from the future.

2. The iPhone 4: Describing all the functions of the iPhone, of any generation, would take numerous blog entries.  Sufficient to say, this thing is beyond cool. 

3. Jewelry: The classic gift.   More than just size or price value, the big theme within the jewelry sector is meaning.  With that in mind, how about a piece of religious jewelry?  Beauty, meaning (and if you look in the right spot, like here), affordability all wrapped in one.  Easy.

Click, click….done.   Bet those people are still waiting outside the store. 

Me? Cook? What?!

Uh oh. My family has requested I bring a dish to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.   Now, the last time I stepped foot near the oven was last year’s holiday season, when I attempted to do some baking.  “Good scones”  was the reply I received for my efforts.  Except…I baked sugar cookies.

I could give a million more examples of how I am a terrible cook, and have messed up meals that you didn’t even think possible!  In fact, that’s exactly why I wrote the article last week suggesting lovely presents for the host; I figured, a necklace will last past Thanksgiving Day, and more importantly, the host won’t get food poisoning from it!

But anyway, if a dish is what my family wants, well…I’ve warned them!  Luckily, Lisa Hendey and other wonderful contributors of catholicmom.com have made it easy.  Their blog contains an article in which they share their favorite dishes.  They look delicious, and pretty easy to make too (thank goodness!).  I think “Aunt Gwen’s Banana Bread”  looks just about right for me.

So, for all of you out there stepping out of their comfort zone for the sake of Thanksgiving, check out the article! And good luck!!

Catholic Jewelry That Even Men Will Love

You are looking to pick up a nice gift for a man in your life, and you cannot possibly think of anything that he would like to receive. Well, no matter the affair may be there is a quality present that you can give to a man of any age that he will love. This gift would be a nice piece of men’s Catholic jewelry. While this can be a great gift for any man you need to keep in mind that there are some pieces of men’s Catholic jewelry that will be much better than others for certain people. This is where the following list can become very handy. It is full of jewelry that any man would love to wear and will certainly cherish for many years to come. So let this list aid you on your search to find that perfect gift for the man in your life.

1.) Saint Michael Medal – Saint Michael is one of the best known and most beloved patron saints out there. That is why his medal would certainly be a thoughtful gift to give. Saint Michael is known as the great protector because he led heaven against the devil when he threatened the safety of heaven. This is why many Saint Michael has numerous patron saint medals in his honor instead of just one. It makes complete sense that medals for the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard, the Army, and the Air Force all have images of Saint Michael on them. This medal would be a great gift for any man, but would certainly hold more value for somebody who has served time for our country. Engraving this medal would also be a great call so you can make it a one of a kind piece.

2.) Saint Christopher Medal – Does the man that you’re shopping for love sports? If so, a nice Saint Christopher patron saint medal may be just the gift for you to give. Saint Christopher is featured on multiple different patron saint medals, but the most popular of them all are the sports medals. These medals include sports such as hockey, tennis, soccer, golf, and basketball. So if the man you are shopping for is a sports enthusiast Saint Christopher would be a sweet medal for you to purchase. Also, if the man you are shopping for does not really like sports that much you can still get him a patron saint medal of Saint Christopher. There are also many different forms of his medals that do not incorporate sports at all. Overall, Saint Christopher medals are very popular and there is surely one that you can find that would make that ideal gift you have been looking for.

3.) Men’s Gage Cross – This cross is very stylish and may be a bit too much for some conservative older men. However, if your shopping for a youngster this cross is exactly what you have been looking for. It is made of sterling silver and is very intricate in its design. Younger men will definitely enjoy this medal because of how cool it looks, and it is something they can wear any day with any sort of clothing.

4.) Eastern Crucifix – This crucifix would make a great gift for a man that is very religious. This crucifix has much more meaning behind it than the everyday crucifix you tend to see. Jesus is shown on the cross on this medal, and it has a head and foot rest attached to it. The foot rest looks like it has been altered from its original state, and this is because when Jesus was really on the cross he was in so much agony that he moved the foot rest in his struggles. A fun fact to share with the person who is receiving this gift is that the foot rest is moved towards the left because that is the side of Jesus that the one criminal who asked Jesus to remember him when he reached heaven was. The detail in this piece will without a doubt amaze a truly religious man and make for a top gift.

Women’s Catholic Jewelry You Should Buy!

Finding the right gift for a woman in your life can be a difficult task to accomplish. Whether it be for her birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or some other kind of celebration, you don’t want to be lame and be one of the crowd giving somebody you care about an envelope with a card and some money inside. Sure this isn’t the worst gift ever, but is it really the best you can do? If you know that the woman you are shopping for is religious, why not consider some really nice Catholic jewelry. Women tend to really like jewelry, and if she is Catholic then you are in luck. What kind of women’s Catholic jewelry should I be getting for her? Well that is where a few pointers will come in handy, and lucky for you I’ve got a handful of them right now.

1.) Saint Christopher Patron Saint Medal – While Saint Christopher is a man, he still can be one of the favorite patron saints of women as well. Saint Christopher’s medal would be an awesome one to get if you have an athletic girl that you are shopping for. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of athletes so he has medals that are made for girls who play volleyball, basketball, figure skating, gymnastics, and cheer leading. His medals are very popular amongst athletes.

2.) Sterling Silver Motherhood Four Way Necklace – If you are shopping for a mother than you’re in luck because this sterling silver medal would make a sweet gift for any mom, on any occasion. There is a cross and in the center inside of a circle is Mary. You cannot see features of her but she is there. On the four points of the cross there are also images of Mary. The mother who receives this medal will definitely love it because of the meaning behind the necklace and for its beauty. This gift is a obvious choice when shopping for a mother.

3.) 14 KT Heart and Cross Charm – To start things off, this medal comes in a pre-packaged box that is perfect for giving a gift; all you will need is a bow or a small amount of wrapping paper to throw on that box and you are in gift giving mode. This medal would make a great gift for any woman because it is shaped like a heart and it has a cross on the inside of the heart. So it has a feminine touch but is still religious. This piece of jewelry is not too flashy, but is also still nice enough to be worn out to Mass or dinner.

4.) Angel With Open Heart Necklace – This medal features a sterling silver heart that holds a young girl guardian angel inside of it. This would be an awesome Confirmation or Communion gift, and for that matter you could just give it to a loved one for no apparent reason. Any young girl will be sure to cherish this piece because of the young guardian angel that is on it. Even an adult may enjoy this necklace as well.

5.) Victorian Crucifix – This necklace is not another typical crucifix that you find anywhere. It is made of sterling silver and is very complex in its design. The cross itself has a very complex pattern that really makes this piece unique, and on top of that you can see a lot of different details about Jesus that most other crucifixes simply would not have. This piece is a lot different from many crucifixes and that is why is would make a great gift.

Some of the Best Catholic Jewelry Boxes

Have you been putting your treasured items into a desk drawer or leaving them out in the open? This might be something that is unwise to keep doing. The solution to all of your problems could be a jewelry box. Jewelry boxes come in many different shapes, sizes, and makes. A particular favorite though has been Catholic jewelry boxes that depict scenes from the Bible. Many of these Catholic jewelry boxes also have God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit shown on the front of them. They tend to play some kind of music you would hear from Church when you open them, and they can be nice to own or give as a gift to a loved one. Now that you know all about these boxes you have a lot of options to consider before you actually purchase one. Here are some ideas that might help you on your way.

1.) Guardian Angel Jewelry Box – If you need to give a Baptism, Communion, or Confirmation gift to give a loved one you should really consider getting them a Guardian Angel Jewelry Box. The box would work as a gift to any loved one, but a child about to receive a religious sacrament would be best because of the intricate scene that inhabits the front side of the box. Surrounded by golden trim, the scene shows two young children who look scared trying to cross a very old, unstable bridge. The bridge is over a big waterfall and the children look to be in grave danger, but floating above them is their guardian angel. This scene is truly heartwarming and comforting.

2.) Ecce Homo Jewelry Box – The Ecce Homo Jewelry Box has a great velvet inside that will take care of all of your favorite belongings you plan on keeping safe in there. Extremely fragile objects will be completely safe inside of the jewelry box so you can rest at ease. It is made out of the finest oak and has a nice finish on the outside. The top of the box is the best part because of the beautiful picture that is there. Jesus is on the front with a crown of thorns on his head. This was right before he was put on the cross and he is in deep suffering. He is looking upwards though trusting God that this is what needed to happen. It is truly a stunning scene. When the box is opened you will be able to listen to “Ave Maria”.

3.) Immaculate Conception Jewelry Box – This is another musical box and is also filled with the softest velvet to keep your valuables safe. A mother would be glad to receive this for a gift on either Mother’s Day or after she has a child. The Virgin Mary is on the front of this box and she is surrounded by children. This signifies her as the Mother of all Catholics, and she is on a cloud in the picture showing that she looks over all of life.

4.) Holy Family Jewelry Box – The Holy Family Jewelry Box would make a really awesome gift for new parents or a couple being married. The scene on the front has Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on it all in prayer. Their heads are surrounded by halos and they all look extraordinarily tranquil and calm. Joseph has a large number of flowers held in his left hand, and in front of Jesus there are more flowers. Jesus is a young child in this picture, which is another reason why this box is so great. There are not too many depictions of Jesus as a young child, most are just him as a baby or him as an adult. This box plays music when it is opened, and is truly a great jewelry box.