(RNS) — If there’s one thing we can all be sure of in 2020, it’s that this year’s holiday season is going to look different from any in recent memory as coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country.
Gifts, though, can still serve as a way to make spirits bright and remind friends and family you’re thinking of them, even if you can’t celebrate together.
Enter the (mostly) annual Religion News Service holiday gift guide, full of ideas for all the people of faith — or no faith — on your list. As in the past, some selections are silly, some sincere, but all come with our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday — and a new year that is not 2020.
We’ll keep adding to it throughout the season, so check back in for more religion-themed gift ideas.
‘Tis the season to wear something comfy. They’ll see you rollin’ into Zoom meetings in this cute, unisex dreidel T-shirt, even if — as one online shopper astutely pointed out — dreidels actually spin, rather than roll. It’s available at Saturday Morning Pancakes, or check out a similar version on Amazon.
Sales of jigsaw puzzles skyrocketed earlier this year as people looked for ways to pass the time while staying home. Grab a new one for the person on your holiday shopping list who already has completed every puzzle in the house several times over. This puzzle colorfully captures the narrative of the Ramayana, one of the two Hindu epics. It’s also available on Etsy, in 35 or 99 piece versions.
Pet Advent calendars
‘#Salaam’ camping mug
Greet the day, or cozy up next to a fire on a peaceful evening, with this stainless steel “#Salaam” camping mug, available on Amazon.
True Heart tarot deck
You may know actress Rachel True for her role in the 1990s cult classic “The Craft.” But True is also a lifelong occultist. She shares personal stories from her life in Hollywood and her knowledge of the tarot in her new guidebook and True Heart tarot deck, perfect for the “baby witch” on your list.
Holy Land subscription box
With travel restrictions in place during the global pandemic, pilgrims may not be able to visit Israel and the surrounding area — considered holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims — any time soon. But Christians can have the Holy Land delivered to them throughout the year with a subscription to Artza, a quarterly curated box that includes foods and crafts by Israeli artisans.
Harmony cookie cutters
In a year that feels starved for harmony, bake up some cookies using these interfaith cookie cutters with symbols from different winter holidays celebrated by major religions. The set, available on Etsy, includes a Christmas tree, a Hanukkah dreidel, a Diwali diya and an Eid lantern.
Prayer wheel pendant
Send blessings into a universe sorely in need of them every time you wear this tiny prayer wheel necklace from the website Buddha Groove. The sterling silver pendant is handmade in Nepal and decorated with the sacred Sanskrit mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, or “Hail to the jewel in the lotus.” A similar version is available on Amazon.
St. Corona prayer cards
Is she or isn’t she the patron saint of epidemics? St. Corona may not have been widely considered a patroness of pandemics before a virus sharing her name swept the globe, but now you can buy a set of prayer cards from Sophia Institute Press featuring the saint and a prayer for this time of epidemic.
The First Halloween Nativity Set
Going for more of a “Nightmare Before Christmas” vibe to end a nightmarish year? The First Halloween Nativity Set combines Halloween and Christmas (yes, that’s a vampire baby Jesus in a tiny coffin instead of a manger) in this new spin on a holiday classic.
‘Fauja Singh Keeps Going’ book
“Fauja Singh Keeps Going” by Religion News Service columnist Simran Jeet Singh tells the true story of Fauja Singh, the oldest man ever to run a marathon. This sweet picture book, illustrated by Baljinder Kaur, will inspire kids and adults alike on your list.
Breathe with Me Barbie
Like many of us in 2020, Breathe with Me Barbie is dressed in loungewear and practicing mindfulness meditation as self-care. Kids (or adults who might need a breather) can press the button on her necklace to activate one of five different guided meditations.
This Hanukkah, there is no shortage of novelty menorahs or heartfelt tributes to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was Jewish. Combine them both in this “I dissent” menorah.
Indigenous face masks
Look good and do good with these beautiful face masks created by Indigenous artists. Many feature designs rooted in Indigenous spirituality, like the medicine wheel that is shared across a number of Indigenous cultures and the “breath of life” as depicted by Métis artist Leah Dorion. With every mask sold, Indigenous Face Masks sends a mask to an Indigenous child in Canada.
‘My First Kwanzaa’ book
Kwanzaa celebrates the importance of family, friends and community. Even the littlest kids can join in with the picture book “My First Kwanzaa” by author and illustrator Karen Katz.
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