Tis the season to be jolly, right?

We thought one way to keep you jolly is to offer up our Christmas Gift guide. You won’t find Fortnite on here, or socks from Old Navy, however. We are providing you Christmas gift ideas with a distinctive religious flavor from books to toys to apps and more!


The Action Bible

Beautifully illustrated by Brazilian artist Sergio Cariello and written by Doug Mauss, “The Action Bible” is a visually stunning interpretation of the Bible in chronological order, with 215 narratives over 752 pages. First published in 2010, “The Action Bible” has been translated into 29 languages and printed in 32 countries. It is listed for ages 9-12, but people of all ages will be drawn to this hard-to-put down interpretation. Priced at $14.99 and available at amazon.com.

Notre Dame de Paris:A Celebration of the Cathedral

The world’s most famous Cathedral, which was almost consumed by fire in April, is chronicled in this 125-page book from its architecture to artifacts with many, never-before-seen photographs throughout its nearly 900-year history. Written by Kathy Borrus, the book is available to Kindle readers for $12.99 or in hardcover for $17.99 at amazon.com.

John Dubois, Founding Father

The definitive biography of the founding father of Mount St. Mary’s University, superior of the Sisters of Charity and the third bishop of the Diocese of New York is back in print. Published by the U.S. Catholic Historical Society in 1983, the book is written by Father Richard Shaw, a long-time priest in the Diocese of Albany, who has degrees in American history and criminology. Known for his prison ministry, Father Shaw has also written “Dagger John: The Unquiet Life and Times of Archbishop John Hughes of New York” and “The Christmas Mary had Twins.” Priced at $26.95 on amazon.com.    
The Meaning of Marriage: A Couple’s Devotional

The New York Times bestselling authors Timothy and Kathy Keller have been married for 43 years, so they know a little bit about the institution! In this 365-day devotional, the couple offers their thoughts and instructions on how to have a successful marriage, through stories, Scripture and prayers. Listed for $17.69 on amazon.com; $10.99 for Kindle readers. 

Adult coloring books

Found on the website, www.catholiccompany.com, these adult coloring books can help you relax with their intricate designs, Bible verses and inspirational quotes. You can choose from “Book of Psalms Color Journal,” “The Mysteries of the Rosary,” and many more. Prices start at $9.99.


Click to Pray app

Click to Pray – an official app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network which connects anyone in the world to the exact prayers on the Pope’s roster for the day. “Prayer with the Pope” allows users to view monthly prayer intentions the Pope has set to battle the current challenges the world is facing; “Pray Every Day” sets users up with “a prayer rhythm” of “three daily moments” and lastly, “Pray with the Network,” serves as a place where users can share their prayers with others. Basically, this free app lets users view and join the Pope’s prayers, reminds them to pray every day, and features the backbone to all solid forms of social media, the “sharing” component, which empowers users to promote their prayers to a broader audience.

Click to Pray eRosary

This Vatican-launched project, which debuted in October, is the latest effort to respond to what was Pope Francis’ explicit request to help young people learn to pray and love the rosary. The Click to Pray eRosary is both a free app for Apple and Android and a high-tech rosary bracelet that connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth. Making the sign of the cross with the rosary automatically opens the app on the phone, while clicking one of the prayer beads allows the person praying to advance through the prayer texts, music and images on the screen. The app is easy to download straight from the app store on your phone; the bracelet, which runs around $100, is currently available only in Europe. Head to https://erosary.clicktoprayero¬≠sary.org for more information. — with CNS

Jesus Calling Devotional

Based on the 365-day devotional book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, this app allows the mobility of prayer without having to carry around a book. Although this app will set you back $10, it offers a curated devotional for each day, a journal, a search function, and the ability to share the devotional through social media. Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Divine Office

The Divine Office Ministry, a non-profit group that offers the “Liturgy of the Hours” collection of Roman Catholic prayers online, provides an iOS app that takes the full text and audio for the Liturgy of The Hours of the Roman Catholic Church to the iPhone and iPad. While Divine Office uses the current four-volume “Liturgy of the Hours,” the official prayer book of the Roman Catholic Church, it also automatically downloads audio prayers for every hour and day of the year, including solemnities, feasts and memorials. As an added bonus, users can tap the globe icon to view a map of other people using the app around the world. Price is $14.99.


Personalized campfire mugs

A steaming cup of hot chocolate always has our name on it, thankfully now the mug can, too. Order a personalized “God Bless” campfire mug for friends and family. No more mixing up glasses at the dinner table! Price is $24.99 and can be found at www.catholiccompany.com.

Gift card to O’Connor’s

Shop local at one of Albany’s best Catholic goods stores: W.B. O’Connor’s in Latham. This fifth-generation business, which started in 1921, has it all from angel figurines and jewelry to crosses and rosaries. They are located at 897 New Loudon Road (U.S. Route 9) in Latham and are open Monday-Saturday. Or shop online at www.oconnorsinc.com/

Mini-pocket Saint

Want some extra protection? Carry St. Jude with you for some peace of mind. Small, portable and comes with a leather pouch. Perfect for stocking stuffers! Available at www.catholiccompany.com for $5.95.

Drinking with the Saints

A funny read by Michael P. Foley that’s still packed with faith. Learn about the life of Catholic Saints and brewing customs during that liturgical time period. It’s the perfect mix of Cocktails and Catholicism. The gift set comes with the St. Brigid “Lake of Beer” bar towel. Price is $39.99 and can be found at www.catholiccompany.com.


The Three Wise Men aren’t the only ones with Frankincense and Myrrh. The spicy aroma will make your home feel like a place of worship. The gift set by Sensari comes with 90 sticks and two burners. Price is $23.95 and can be found on amazon.com 

Donate in a loved one’s memory

Give a donation in memory of a lost loved one to one of hundreds of charities. https://www.globalgiving.org/gifts/inhonor/

Catholic Trivia-Traditional Version

Family game night just got better with Catholic Trivia cards. Test your knowledge and learn something new with over 1,500 questions in six categories, including Baltimore Catechism, Popes, patron saints and other pious people and religious doctrine. Price is $29.99 and available at amazon.com

Handmade rosaries

These handmade rosaries are unlike anything you’ve seen. Each rosary is unique; you won’t find these in stores. Prices start at $12.99 and can be found at  https://www.etsy.com/shop/thiscatholicjourney/


Little People: The Christmas Story Nativity

Featuring 17 detachable pieces, this colorful, sturdy children’s nativity set from Fisher Price is a great way for younger children to act out the night of Christ’s birth. The figures range from 2 1/2″to over 5 inches tall, and the crèche is approximately 6 inches tall. The star on top of the crèche lights up and plays “Away in a Manger” when the angel is pressed; batteries not included. The price varies and is available at www.christianbook.com

Veggie Tales Noah’s Ark Playset

This colorful Veggie Tales version of Noah’s Ark will provide hours of fun for kids with six sets of animals, Noah (Larry the Cucumber), his wife (Petunia Rhubarb), a dove and other playful accessories. For ages 3-8, the price is $36.99 and is available at www.aquinasandmore.com.

Catholic Coloring Poster

Not only is this Deluxe Hail Mary Poster huge, it’s also fun for kids of all ages. Perfect for decorating a door, the poster is 24 inches wide and 6 feet long, printed on white paper, and is suitable for coloring with crayons, markers, pencils or paints. For reusable purposes, you can place it on a table, cover it with a clear vinyl cloth, color it with dry erase markers or crayons, and when you’re done wipe it off to be used again. Cost is $15 and is available at www.illuminatedink.com