It’s easy to get worn out by the commercial trappings of the season. But you can take part in the holidays and honor your faith at the same time. Get back to basics with these simple gifts. Page Leggett, correspondent
Blessings in clay
An Episcopal priest in Pinehurst, Amy Huacani etches messages of faith and hope onto pieces of North Carolina clay. She throws her pottery on a wheel and fires it in an electric kiln. Dishes (tumblers are available, too) are food-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
$30-$45. Christ Episcopal Church Good News Shop, 1412 Providence Road, Charlotte
Georgia Artist Sue Burkhart Chisholm’s The Holy Family Nativity set is hand-formed with a slab of damp earthenware clay, similar to porcelain. The forms are cut, and the textures – derived from relics from the artist’s family – are then embedded.
$85. Red Sky Gallery, 1523 Elizabeth Ave.
Jewelry that puts women to work
Mothering Across Continents, a nonprofit based in Charlotte, has created a line of ecologically and socially responsible jewelry called oMa: Passport for Purpose. Underemployed and displaced women handcraft the jewelry out of materials from fair trade women’s cooperatives. And 100 percent of the proceeds support North Carolina schools. Available at select boutiques and trunk shows.
$45-$60. motheringacrosscontinents.org; email@example.com
A tonic for stress
The Levine Jewish Community Center’s Julia Thomas, an aromatherapist, lymph drainage therapy (LDT) and craniosacral therapy (CST) practitioner, offers a range of massages from hot stone to reflexology. A portion of the fee helps support outreach programs at the “J.”
$65-$210. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 704-944-6863
‘The Christmas Cat ,’ by Maryann MacDonald
In this take on the story of Jesus’ birth for young readers, Baby Jesus is crying, and no one can comfort him … until a kitten finds his way into the manger. Illustrations were inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Cat. ” The story is inspired by a legend about a litter of kittens being born in the Bethlehem stable the same night Jesus was born.
About $15 at local booksellers and
Honor someone with a donation that does the world good. Browse the World Vision catalog, choose a gift category – clothing and shelter, clean water, emergency aid and more – and pick a price range starting at $25 and under.
Love146 is an international human rights organization working to stop sexual enslavement of children. The nonprofit works on prevention with at-risk youth, empowers grassroots leaders to protect children and operates safe houses where children who have been rescued from sex trafficking can recover and rebuild their lives. Read the unforgettable story behind the group’s name at love146.org.