Quite a few people have asked for suggestions about things to get for their priests for Christmas.
This topic comes up once in a while, as in ordination season and for the brethren’s birthdays and anniversaries.
I can approach this in a couple ways, and I am entirely aware of the self-interest involved. Having wishlists makes this an easier question in my regard. I will, nevertheless, advance.
Here are a few things which might be helpful.
First, since this is the age of the “gift card”, how about gift cards to some place or outlet that Father might appreciate? Does Father go fishing? A card for some fishing gear place. Does Father build AR-15s? A card for some parts outlet and ammo cans of 5.56 would help. Does Father use Amazon? Amazon cards! I know that when I get an Amazon gift card, my life is a little easier that day: I order, inter alia, household essentials. Does Father occasionally eat? How about some card or gift certificate for a local restaurant (which he likes), perhaps large enough so he an a priest friend can go together.
Also, I was just made aware that some airlines have gift cards, too. It might be good to give a priest some travel/airfare cards, so that he might be able to visit parents or grandparents if he is in a place where he didn’t grow up, or maybe to attend a classmate’s jubilees or other event, or even just have a vacation somewhere.
There’s a gift card for just about everything now.
Another option is to work with him to get vestments or liturgical books or training that he might looking for (especially if that involves the Extraordinary Form). I know that a lot of younger priests are interested in this. Going back to the gift card idea, perhaps they could order something from Leaflet Missal (who handle the Biretta Project – talk to John in Church Goods).
There is, of course, the ultimate. The portable altar. Since I already have one, I could use a Bugatti Chiron to haul it around.
I think that most priests would be honored to have a charitable donations made in their name either to a particular project of your church or to an organization he supports. For example, I have my favorite projects, such as the tax-deductible Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison and Our Lady of Hope Clinic (which has a matching grant to the end of the year).
In the Christmas cards I receive, many people say that they have enrolled me in novenas of Masses or they send spiritual bouquets. That’s really nice and much appreciated.
Remember, too, that some priests are quite alone, and times like Christmas can be hard for them. Check up on them without being pushy. Ask if there is anything that they need or that you can do for them. Also, keep in mind that priests can’t and shouldn’t accept every possible invitation. Don’t be bent out of shape if Father doesn’t accept.
Some priests really like the 8th dozen of Christmas cookies. Some, might not need the 2nd dozen… or the first. I am among the later group. I share them out if I can.
I think that priests don’t, in general, expect very much. They know that something is going to come their way, of course. They are happy when something comes along, but that’s not way they got into the fray. Each man will have different interests. However, being cheerful and helpful in the parish and supportive in projects can go a long way to making spirits bright, as it were.