Christmas Gift Ideas – Second Week of Advent

Each week of Advent I’m highlighting some gift ideas that IC readers might be interested in giving or getting. Here’s this week’s list:  

Last week I mentioned the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming and their wonderful coffee, but failed to highlight their popular Jingle Bell Java. The Anchoress admits she not only buys it for Christmas gifts, she stocks up for cold winter days.

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The Holy Spirit Monks in Conyers, Georgia, have a wide array of homemade treats — including delicious fudge and their famous gourmet southern fruitcakes. They also have coffee, honey, and fantastic looking gift sets.


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Reader Kamilla alerted me to Anthony Esolen’s new book, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Publisher Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s describes it this way:

Esolen shows how imagination is snuffed out at practically every turn: in the rearing of children almost exclusively indoors; in the flattening of love to sex education, and sex education to prurience and hygiene; in the loss of traditional childhood games; in the refusal to allow children to organize themselves into teams; in the effacing of the glorious differences between the sexes; in the dismissal of the power of memory, which creates the worst of all possible worlds in school—drudgery without even the merit of imparting facts; in the strict separation of the child’s world from the adult’s; and in the denial of the transcendent, which places a low ceiling on the child’s developing spirit and mind.

As many of you know, it’s enough to buy the book just for Esolen’s writing.

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For the person who has everything, how about the gift of clean water in his or her name?

Every day, about 7,000 children die from preventable water-related diseases. More than 200 million women gather water for their families, and five million girls cannot attend school because they have to carry water.

Water 1st seeks to change all that. They work in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Honduras, and India. What I like about them is their integrated approach — they don’t simply build state-of-the-art wells in villages and wave goodbye; they integrate the wells with sanitation projects and hygiene training so the benefits will be long-term. I have a Catholic friend who worked with a Water 1st project in Ethiopia and was very impressed with the organization.   

Zoe Romanowsky


Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Zo

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