Getting ready for the Advent and Christmas season? We’ve put together an ultimate gift guide listing our top holiday sellers all in one spot. Each of the products listed here were our best-sellers from last season. It was tough doing this research and putting this article together, but we’ve done it just for you!
Here our top two best-sellers in each of the following categories: Advent wreaths, Kneeling Santa, Christmas Ornaments, Christmas books, Advent calendars, nativity scenes, Christmas cards, prayer cards, and general Christmas gifts. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of what’s popular, and what you might like to incorporate as gifts or decorations in your home this Advent & Christmas season.
Category: Advent Wreaths
Next to Christmas trees, Advent wreaths are a staple decoration for many Christian homes. Violet is the liturgical color used to signify a time of penance, sacrifice, and prayer, that’s why Advent candles are traditionally purple. One of the candles is pink, and this one is lit on the third Sunday of Advent in celebration of the period of waiting for the birth of Christ coming soon to an end. Our top two selling Advent wreaths from 2011 were the Four Weeks of Advent Pewter Wreath Set and the Nativity Ceramic Advent Candleholder.
Four Weeks of Advent Classic Pewter Wreath Set
The Four Weeks of Advent Pewter Advent Wreath Set is popular because inscribed around the base of the four candles is an explanation of the Four Weeks of Advent. Each reflection can be read as you light the candle each week. It is a simple, modern style that can be displayed beautifully anywhere. The center of the wreath is an open circle, so you can dress it up by arranging greenery, holly berries, pine cones, or even a white “Christ candle” in the center to light on Christmas day.
The other best selling Advent wreath is the Nativity Ceramic Advent Candleholder which includes the Bible verse, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). This is a popular seller because it’s a combination of an Advent wreath and nativity scene in one, with the adoring figures of the magi, shepherd boy, Mary, and Joseph next to the manger. White ceramic is also a classic material for figurines in the home–it never ages!
Category: Kneeling Santa
Year after year our Kneeling Santa collection continues to be best-sellers, so they deserve a category all their own. The Kneeling Santa collection features variations of St. Nicholas adoring at the manger of the Baby Jesus. Each Kneeling Santa statue, ornament, and figurine is inspired by the Scripture verse, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…” ( Philippians 2:10-1). A wonderful reminder to keep Jesus at the center of the season. Our top two selling Kneeling Santa figurines from 2011 were the Kneeling Santa Figure- 8 inch and the Kneeling Santa Musical “Silent Night” Glitterdome.
Kneeling Santa Figure – 8 inch
Everyone loves the Kneeling Santa figure because it incorporates both St. Nicholas and the Baby Jesus into the Christmas decorations. There are many varieties and sizes of Kneeling Santa figurines available, but last year our customers seemed to love the 8 inch version the best. This statue features Santa kneeling at the manger of the Baby Jesus, with Santa hat removed in humble adoration. A lamb kneels next to him, symbolic of both the stable scenery on that Christmas night as well as Jesus’ role as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The whole scene rests on a bed of straw. Not only a nice Christmas decoration to display year after year, it is also a popular gift idea.
The Kneeling Santa Musical “Silent Night” Glitterdome
Snowglobes and glitterdomes are huge hits every Christmas season. This Kneeling Santa Glitterdome features Santa Claus kneeling down and cradling the Baby Jesus. The touching scene is captured inside a glitterdome that rests on top of an ornate decorative base which reads, “Merry Christmas” with green and red holly berry accents and a bit of wintery snow. Wind up to play the loved Christmas carol “Silent Night” while shaking the globe for more swirly, glittering snow. Makes a great gift for the kids this year, wind up as a lullaby every night before bed!
Category: Christmas Ornaments
There are always a wide variety of Christmas ornaments to choose from in all the big box stores. But not many have ornament choices that are specifically religious in nature and serve an inspirational purpose. Our two most popular Christmas ornaments from last season were the Merry Christmas from Heaven Photo Frame and the Mother’s Kiss Christmas Ornament.
Merry Christmas from Heaven Photo Frame
The Merry Christmas from Heaven gifts are popular sellers every year. Merry Christmas from Heaven is a famous Christmas Poem that holds a special place in many hearts that remembers the passing of a loved one amidst the family’s Christmas celebrations. This Merry Christmas from Heaven picture frame ornament features one of the most memorable lines of the poem that reads, “I love you all dearly, now don’t shed a tear. I’m spending my Christmas with Jesus this year.” In the center of the ornament is room for a photo of your loved one, so all the family can hold a special place in their hearts for them this Christmas season.
Mother’s Kiss Christmas Ornament
The Mother’s Kiss Christmas Ornament is a lovely and realistic rendition of the Blessed Virgin Mary cradling the Infant Jesus in her arms. This lovely Marian Christmas ornament honors the special bond of Mother and Child and is a lovely way to include our Blessed Mother in your Christmas decorations this year. This ornament also makes a great gift for anyone with a special devotion to Our Lady. The bright blues and reds will contrast beautifully with your Christmas tree.
Category: Advent Prayer Books & Christmas Books
Advent and Christmas books are an essential resource to help you celebrate the liturgical season and to receive the graces that are ready to be gained by engaging your heart more deeply into this special time of year. If you don’t have a few, it’s not too late. Advent and Christmas books usually contain special prayers, devotions, and explanations to take you from the First week of Advent through to Epiphany. Our top two sellers in this category last year were A Special Place for Santa and the Redemptorist’s The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook.
A Special Place for Santa
A Special Place for Santa tells the story of Santa Claus (as the real St. Nicholas) while keeping the focus on the meaning of the season, the birth of the Baby Jesus. This fun and colorful children’s Christmas book combines historical facts about St. Nicholas with the imagination in a charming illustrated story that brings Santa Claus to his knees before the Christ Child. This book has been used by many families to incorporate both Santa Claus and the Baby Jesus into your Christmas celebrations, just like the many popular Kneeling Santa gifts. This book would be a great accompaniment to a Kneeling Santa figurine or Christmas ornament.
The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook
The Essential Handbook Series by the Redemptorists are popular sellers because of the wealth of information they contain. The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook is no different. This helpful book contains information about the history of the Advent season as well as Advent prayers and popular traditions. It also serves as a daily devotional companion through the entire Advent season. Just about everything there is to know about Advent is in this helpful handbook, great for use year after year.
Category: Advent Calendars
Advent calendars for kids are one of the most popular Advent activities because they channel kid’s natural anticipation of Christmas day. Kids are going to count down the days anyways, so many parents get them a fun and colorful Advent calendar to help keep the focus on Jesus and the true meaning of the season, a time of preparation and joy as we anticipate the birth of the Baby Jesus. The two best-selling Advent calendars last year were the Felt Advent Calendar with Velcro Figures and the Nativity Advent Calendar with Chocolate.
Felt Advent Calendar with Velcro Figures
It’s obvious why the Felt Advent Calendar with Velcro Figures is such a big hit. It’s a super cute in addition to being an interactive Advent calendar. There are 25 Velcro nativity figures that sit inside each numbered pocket on the calendar. As each day of December passes, the figure is taken from the pocket and attached to the empty nativity scene at the top. Each day the nativity scene gets more and more full, with the Christ Child being added on Christmas day. Kids are sure to love the fun shapes and soft, lovable cartoon figures.
Nativity Advent Calendar with Chocolate
The Nativity Advent Calendar with Chocolate is probably the kind of Advent calendar your kids look forward to the most each year! Simple and very affordable, these Advent calendars can be purchased in multiples for every little one in your life. Children can keep and display this Nativity Advent calendar in their room, which displays a cute cartoon illustration of the first Christmas night. A window opens each day with a special chocolate surprise along with a special Bible reading for that day.
Category: Nativity Sets
Nativity Manger Scenes are one of the oldest Christmas traditions. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with making the first nativity scene back in the 13th century. Today, manger scenes are displayed as a visual reminder of the events from that first Christmas night, when a Savior was born to the world. Nativity sets come in a variety of kinds and styles, from more traditional versions to modern styles. The most popular nativity scenes are usually the classic ones, because these become part of a family’s Christmas decorations for decades and also become heirlooms when the kids are grown. Also very popular sellers are children’s nativity play sets. Our two best-selling nativity sets last year were the 13 Piece Resin Nativity with 8 inch Creche and the Nativity Play Set with Story Book.
13 Piece Resin Nativity with 8 inch Creche
The 13 Piece Resin Nativity is a best-seller because of its traditional look and life-like rendition of each figure present on that Holy Night. This nativity set is also a great choice to “dress up” to create a lovely Christmas center piece in the home. For example, rest the whole nativity scene on a snow scape, or add a straw bed to re-create the look of a stable, or even place greenery, such as holly berry leaves, in an amongst each figure. Adding Christmas lights and other small touches will make turn this set into an even more beautiful nativity scene.
Kids love Christmas, of course, and this Nativity Play Set with Story Book is a great way to get them excited about the special day. It’s obvious why this play set is such a popular seller. It features adorable and colorful plastic figures–17 pieces in all. Children can create their own nativity scene with this loveable Christmas toys and act out the drama of the first Christmas night. You can even have your children put on a miniature play for the family! A mini nativity story book is included as well.
Category: Christmas Cards
Sending Christmas cards to friends, co-workers, and loved ones is a Christmas tradition that will never go out of fashion. Religious Christmas cards are so popular because we want to remember the reason for the season by sending inspirational messages. When everyone else is sending Christmas cards of reindeer in the snow, you can be the one friend or family member who makes everyone remember that this is a spiritual celebration. Our two most popular Christmas cards from last year were the L’Innocence by Bouguereau and the Let There Be Peace Celtic Design Cards.
Madonna and Child art is a great choice for Christmas cards, and this box of 25 features one of our most popular pieces of framed art, the L’Innocence by Bouguereau. This is a tender, soft, and beautiful French painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. Mary cradles a lamb along with her Son, reminiscent of his coming Passion. The inside text of this Christmas card reads: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:5) and inside, “May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you today and throughout the New Year.”
This beautifully designed box set of 25 Christmas cards features a unique Irish/Celtic design. This ornate and vibrant Celtic Christmas card shows Mary and Joseph adoring the Christ Child. Joseph holds a lily and shamrocks – symbols of purity and of the Trinity. Three lambs rest at their feet. The family is surrounded by intricate Celtic knotwork that symbolized eternity. The inside text reads: “Wishing you peace from the Father above, a home full of blessings and God’s endless love. For a Child has been born for us, a Son given to us … and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Category: General Christmas Gifts
This category includes our general Christmas items that were our best sellers outside of the other categories included in this gift guide. These are the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Boxed Set and the Oplatki Christmas wafer. In addition to being great gift ideas, both of these are actually Christmas traditions that can be incorporated into your family’s festivities each year.
This unique Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh set includes three intricate boxes that hold the gifts that the three wise men presented to the Child Jesus. Each of the unique wooden boxes are hand made and adorned with brass appliqué of filigree and stars to capture how these gifts may have been presented by the Three Kings more than 2000 years ago. This gift set also includes a gold embossed display card that tells a brief story of the Original Gifts of Christmas and a Certificate of Authenticity that states that the gold is real 23k and the frankincense and myrrh are pure and from the same regions as the gifts brought on the first Christmas. Displays beautifully next to a creche or nativity scene.
Polish, Slovak and Lithuanian families observe the centuries-old Oplatki Christmas Tradition. The word Oplatki means “Angel Bread”. On Christmas Eve the family gathers together to share the Oplatki wafer along with blessings for each member of the family. Each wafer comes in an envelope with the Oplatki tradition printed on the back, so you can re-establish a favorite family custom or start a new custom with friends. The wafers are similar in touch and taste to a communion host, imprinted with 4 Christmas images. Oplatki wafers can easily be mailed in a Christmas card, making this a great way to connect family and friends in solidarity with one another who live very far apart.
Category: Prayer cards
A popular custom for many Catholics is to mail a prayer card in with their Christmas cards to all their family and friends. Prayer cards or holy cards are one of the best ways to make the Advent and Christmas season about the time of spiritual growth, welcoming Christ in a deeper way into our hearts just as Mary and Joseph welcomed him on Christmas day. Prayer cards come with a reflection or prayer already written on the back, or you can have them personalized with your own message. Prayer cards are bought in bulk and can be handed out to family The most popular Christmas holy cards from last year were the Nativity with Angel Christmas Lace Holy Card and the Nativity Personalized Prayer Card.
The Nativity with Angel Christmas Holy Card is an Ambrosian card printed on Italian cardstock decorated with a fancy punch lace border. The back of each card has a prayer that reads: “Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the Wise Men. May the hope, peace,joy and love represented by the Birth in Bethlehem fill our lives an become part of all that we say and do . . . Bless us and let us be thankful for the true gift of Christmas: Your Son. Amen.” Include this in your Christmas cards so friends and family can tuck away in their Bible or prayer book.
The Nativity Personalized Prayer Card beautifully represents the holy scene on that first Christmas day. A beautiful, luminous image of St. Joseph and St. Mary, in the stillness and quietness of the night, with the Bethlehem star shining above, praying and adoring at the manger that holds the Christ Child. Have this nativity prayer card personalized with a special prayer or Christmas greeting for your family and friends this year. Purchase eight per page to include in your Christmas cards, attach to your Christmas gifts, or hand out as Christmas party favors too.
We hope this gift guide helped! This is just a small sampling of the The Catholic Company’s HUGE selection of Advent and Christmas gifts. We’ve brought back all the popular sellers, as well as featuring many new and unique options this year. Let us help you make this Advent and Christmas season your best ever—by offering products that will help you keep a strong spiritual center throughout your seasonal celebrations.