Finding the perfect gift is no small thing. It requires a certain finesse: I always want my recipient to appreciate that it’s not just a nice gift that maybe cost me a bit, but also that it has meaning. This graduation season finds me searching for meaningful gifts with Catholic flair that may (or may not) be friendly to a budget.
A personalized prayer box and a spiritual bouquet
Large life changes can invite prayer in ways nothing else can. Why not encourage — and remind — your grad of the power and importance of prayer by making them a personalized prayer box? And then, while you’re encouraging them to pray, you can let them know that they’ll be in your prayers in a special way.
You can DIY to your heart’s delight and make it truly personal. Start with Laura’s instructions at Awe-Filled Homemaker and modify with what you have on hand, and insert plenty of Catholicity. You can also search on Etsy and find quite a variety.
A spiritual bouquet is made up of devotions (usually prayers) that the giver has done or will do for the recipient. Maybe it’s a rosary a day for a year or a novena every month or a Hail Mary every third Monday of the second month. Perhaps you pledge to offer your Mass once a month for their intentions. There’s no limit. Include your bouquet in the grad’s card, or make a special card to include them. There’s a lovely example of a spiritual bouquet prayer card from Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, Washington.
A Cross Tech3+ pen and the Catholic Notetaking Bible
No doubt, your grad has a Bible. And they also have a pen. But do they have a Cross pen? And is the Bible a notetaking Bible? What better time than when you’re embarking out into the world to congratulate them with a challenge to step up?
My husband received a Cross Tech3+ pen as a “congratulations for starting college” when he was in his mid-30s and he dug into pursuing his degree. It has since become one of our go-to gifts for grads.
It’s not just a pen, though it is that (in both black and red!), but also a mechanical pencil (with an eraser!) and a stylus.
It’s the kind of pen that you just don’t buy for yourself (well, not until you’re a “grown-up,” anyway), and that makes it a lovely sort of gift for any kind of grad.
Pairing a fancy pen with the Catholic Notetaking Bible just delights my Catholic sensibilities.
This is the perfect Bible to go with such a pen: It’s beautiful and multifunctional. It has a deep gray leather cover, and the interior boasts single column texts and wide, lined margins.
If you have a journaling sort of person, you may check out the Catholic Journaling Bible, which is hard-cover and has some hand-lettering sprinkled throughout, but I find that the Notetaking Bible is just what I’ve always wanted in a Catholic Bible.
A check and a Tiny Saint
Maybe you’re the check-giving kind. I was the kind of grad who needed every cent, so I appreciate that in many ways. That said, I can’t help but want to give a little something along with the monetary gift.
Holy cards are well and good, but how about a Tiny Saint?
If you know your grad’s Confirmation saint, great. But if not, you may consider that you can’t go wrong with the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, or St. Michael the Archangel. They go great on a keychain, a backpack, or even a jacket zipper. In fact, Tiny Saints might be the perfect add-on for every Catholic gift ever. (I’m smitten, can you tell?)
A miraculous medal and a hefty grocery gift card
So the real gift, you might think, is the grocery gift card (and the young adults I know would well appreciate it!). However, a Miraculous Medal — and one that your grad will wear — is no small thing!
Lest you think I’m talking about a necklace, I’m not. (Though a Miraculous Medal necklace is a fine thing, and if your grad will/does wear one, GREAT.)
Observe this bit of Catholic coolness:
Yes, a t-shirt. And what grad doesn’t need another t-shirt? 😉
I also loved this shirt more than just a little:
While we’re talking about ways to wear your Miraculous Medal, let’s embrace the tattoo trend, shall we? (But don’t get upset: It’s a temporary tattoo!)
Whether you’re gifting a guy or a gal, this bracelet would be the right sort of understated Catholic cool:
I’ll leave you with one more Miraculous Medal option, because I can’t resist:
Available in navy (shown), denim, and white, I can’t help but think of the delight I would have seeing my favorite grads trekking across campus or to an after-work get together with it on.
In the spirit of saving the best for last, let me encourage you to not shy away from introducing the classics to the young people in your life.
Our Noll Library offers a great way to gift beautiful classics: The books are cloth-bound and beautifully typeset. They have wide margins and heavy cream paper, perfect for note-taking (or book darting, as the case may be). Touching them is a booklover’s heaven and reading them…well. They are classics for a reason (whether you like them or not).
Before I discovered book darts, I would have dog-eared these beauties, but now, no worries.
I may still make notes in the margins, but there’s no need to dog ear. And, as you can see, the book darts take up no extra room when the book is closed:
(Coffee stains, all my fault. This has been a favorite morning read of mine for the last few weeks.)
Book darts can also serve as bookmarks, or that’s what the marketing copy says. 😉 They could be handy for marking your spot in your notes…assuming anyone still uses paper.
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