Find gifts for everyone no matter what their religion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 30, 2013

From ecumenical prayer beads to naughty Christmas sweaters, the Religion News Service 2013 Holiday Gift Guide has suggestions for everyone on your list, no matter their religion — or lack of religion.
The guide was released in time for Christmas and Hanukkah shopping, but we hope you find it useful throughout the year.
The guide, which we hope will become an annual feature, is actually three lists in one: the first caters to people who are religious or think seriously about religion; the second is for people who think religion can be hilarious; and the third is for the kids on your list.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and have a wonderful whatever other holidays or occasions you celebrate.
Get someone a getaway. Many monasteries welcome tourists of all faiths for short stays at reasonable rates. You can find several lists of monastic accommodations online. is global.
Prayer beads are perhaps best known as something Catholics use, but they’re actually part of many faith traditions. There’s a handmade selection for Anglicans and others at
From the New York Philharmonic to the Carolina Ballet to the Nashville Symphony, some version of “Messiah” is playing near almost everyone this holiday season.
A sabra is an Israeli prickly pear, and this menorah casts sabra leaves in aluminum. They can be added and rearranged for each night of Hanukkah. Visit
There’s a wide assortment from Santas to soldiers at
Lightweight wood earrings say “God” in Arabic. On the web at
Dispense with the fruitcakes jokes. This one is made by Trappist monks in Missouri who got the recipe from a French chef who worked for the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor. Trust us, it’s divine. Online at
The U.S. Postal Service’s Christmas offerings include stamps that depict everything from poinsettias to the Holy Family, but they also sell postage for Hanukkah and Eid. Find them at the Post Office or online at
Recipes are interspersed with Buddhist wisdom such as “Understand that a simple green has the power to become the practice of the Buddha.”
Richard Dawkins’ new book explores the famed atheist’s early days as a churchgoing boy and his evolution into the scientist he is today.
Definitely not for children. A sample illustrated page paraphrases Lot in Genesis 19:1-9: “Take my two virgin daughters and do with them whatever you like!”
Martin Luther, pressured to recant his writings, famously refused, saying: “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Well, he actually might not have, according to religious scholars. So what? It looks really cool on these socks. Available at
At first glance, it’s just another ugly Christmas sweater. But just what are those reindeer doing? Online at
Twelve months of mensches who are not bad to look at either. Find it at
Cutout This is a very chummy pope. Why not have him hang around your house? On the web at
Jesus sprinkled with sea salt A Kickstarter project, made in Brooklyn and packed in an archival box. Online at
A mashup of poker and the classic Hanukkah dreidel game. Buy it at
Adorable. Each glass features a cartoon version of the sin as drawn by New Yorker artist Mort Gerberg. Available at
This greeting brought to you by the Hindu god who protects the universe and maintains moral order. Find it at
Because this is the first time since 1888 that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. Online at
Includes arches, minarets, domes and staircases. Buy it at
This particular set of guys is on bicycles, but you can find others from the same company that show them expounding on the Book of Mormon. Find it at
On one sole it is written: “I believe in Mummy.” The other: “I believe in Daddy.” Online at
A container in a Jewish home for collecting money for charity, a tzedakah box typically gets passed around before Shabbat. This ceramic version has a “kids in the park” theme. Available at
Extra good karma — your purchase helps support Save the Children. Get it at
Made with a silicone orthodontic nipple. BPA and phthalate free.Buy it at
A fun Hanukkah book about a poor family that gets a magic potato. Hanukkah madness ensues. Online at
Made by Fisher Price. The musical manger lights up and plays “Away in a Manger.” Find it at
This one is particularly alliterative, but also know that you can get an “Itty Bitty Methodist Burp Cloth.” Get it at
The name of an album made by John Denver and the Muppets that went platinum after it was released in 1979. It’s still terrific, especially when Miss Piggy belts out “Five Go-old Rings!” On the web at