America’s Last-Minute Christmas Gift Guide
It’s the last week of Advent, and Christmas is drawing near. Amid the countless holiday parties and last-minute gatherings with friends, it is safe to say that, for some, Christmas shopping has fallen by the wayside.
If this is you, America is here to help. We have asked some of our editors and staff what gifts they would recommend for this Christmas season and have compiled them in the list below. We hope this helps all you last-minute shoppers. And, don’t worry: You can also use this list as a last-minute gift guide Feast of the Epiphany (we won’t tell).
Ashley McKinless, Associate Editor
Homesick Candles: Have a kid who started college across the country? A daughter who took a Catholic media job in New York but misses Virginia? Uncommongoods offers candles with signature scents from each of the 50 states that will remind your loved one of home (and maybe to pick up the phone and call you).
Trappist Craft Beer: Five years ago, the first Trappist brewery outside of Europe was started by the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts. Their celebrated Belgian ales are now available for purchase online for the beer lovers in your life at spencerbrewery.com!
Vivian Cabrera, Editorial Assistant
Subscription Boxes: They range from $10-$75 per box or term and are a great way to give someone in your life a customized gift!
Coffee sampler: Nothing beats trying out new and different coffee beans in the new year. Check your local coffee shop for suggestions!
James Martin, S.J., Editor at Large
Trappist Jams from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass. These jams, which are very reasonably priced and help support the Trappist monks of Spencer, are hits with everyone I’ve given them to over the years. A few years ago, I was on retreat there with a friend, who told me he hated jam, but after one taste was a convert.
An Invitation to Love, by William A. Barry, S.J. This new book by the spiritual master Father Barry is a brilliant idea: an in-home retreat for those who have neither the time nor the money for a guided retreat. Let this experienced spiritual director guide you to a closer relationship with God.
Kerry Weber, Executive Editor
Handmade saint statues from the Etsy shop, In the Company of Saints: My daughter Brigid received this beautiful St. Brigid statue, but Catholics seeking an original Christmas gift will find a variety of saints and original designs to choose from.
My First Rosary has proven to be a hit in our home. At 6 months, my daughter has found the plush beads to be more useful for teething than praying, but we have time to teach her that part.
Heather Trotta, Director of Advancement
Nespresso Machine: Everyone needs a little caffeine to get through the day, and it makes the perfect latte.
Patience: I need and want the gift of patience, especially with my beautiful children who hate putting their socks on in the morning. If you know where to get this gift in time for Christmas, I’m all ears.
Olga Segura, Associate Editor
One gift I recommend this Christmas is ajournal or a planner! It is a great gift and a wonderful way to start the new year.
One fun gift recommendation is the Bob’s Burgers Mini Figure 5 Piece Box Set on Amazon! Even if you are not a fan of the show, the figurines are adorable.
Joe Hoover, S.J., Poetry Editor
Cool Stationery: O.K., maybe this sounds boring, but honestly, sending someone an actual handwritten letter in 2018 is kind of the equivalent of, like, buying them a pony.
James Cappabianca, Associate Director of Advancement
Tickets to the Knicks game on Christmas Day.
If you have plans to be in New York over the holidays, dinner reservation at Rolf’s Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan—the most Christmas decorations in any restaurant during the Christmas season!
Jonathan Tavarez, Office Manager
An open-ended ticket to an event, entertainment venue or even a restaurant (+1). Monetary gifts have a value to them, but an experience is priceless. It is something no one will forget (yet is simple and can be affordable).
James Keane, Senior Editor
The “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” Chinese science fiction trilogy, which I reviewed for America this past year. Innovative, engrossing and occasionally quite disconcerting in its concepts and imaginary scope.
Someone on eBay is selling a baseball that says "Bob Dylan" on it. I don’t know why or what one is supposed to do with such a ball, but it seems like something one should own, no?
Tim Reidy, Deputy Editor in Chief
“More Blood, More Tracks,” from Bob Dylan, single-disc version. These are the original versions of the songs that made it onto Dylan’s iconic 1975 album “Blood on the Tracks.” After listening to these songs for so long, it is invigorating to hear them in a completely different way.
Frank and Al: The feuding fathers of the modern Democratic Party are the subject of this elegant volume by former America columnist Terry Golway. F.D.R. and Al Smith were strange bedfellows, but they achieved a lot together before their inevitable falling out.
Lauren Michaels, Business Development
I love the World Wildlife Fund and like to pick one of their different gift sets, which are at all different prices. They are cute, plus the gift goes back to support the animal that you have picked (elephants, tigers, etc).
Eric Sundrup, S.J., Director of Audience Development
My (and Pope Francis') favorite shirt from JesuitSwag :)