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The Official 2014 Catholic Christmas Gift Guide & Giveaway!

It’s ALMOST the most wonderful time of the year – even though Christmas trees are up and Christmas music is playing everywhere, we still have 11 days before Advent begins! And Christmas shopping is on the brain. Last year we did a 2013 Handy Dandy Guide to Catholic Christmas Shopping; since “Jesus is the Reason”, we decided to focus on Catholic-themed gifts that are fun to give and receive, and found 60 of our absolute favorite Catholic items to give for Christmas. This year, we’ve done one better – we found some new favorites, PLUS, we thought a little Christmas gift giveaway might be fun! A “little” giveaway spiraled into 29 prizes from our favorite Catholic companies and authors, including TAN, Ignatius Press, Holy Heroes, CCC, Wee Believers and more. We are SO excited about this! Below are our gift picks, and the giveaway items are listed directly beneath that. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom. 🙂

(The companies and authors who have donated these prizes are not sponsors of Catholic Sistas, since we do not take sponsorships at this time, nor are we sponsors of them. They have simply teamed up with us to offer their goods in the giveaway we are hosting!)

We bring you… The Official 2014 Catholic Christmas Gift Guide.


Something for your Home
Picture 198

1. Our Lady Undoer of Knots (or 1 of 500 other religious art prints to choose from) – Portraits of Saints

2. Clever Wooden Plaque – Soul Supply & Hardware

3. St. John Paul II Art Print – Tree of Heaven

4. “A Child is Born” Candle – Catholic Company

5. Nativity Set – Catholic Company

6. Feast!: Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year


Something for the Bibliophile

Picture 200

1. Catholic Literary Giants: A Field Guide to the Catholic Literary Landscape

2. Treason: A Catholic Novel of Elizabethan England

3. The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home

4. Through the Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections

5. Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms

6. Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa

7. Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves

8. Journal of a Soul: The Autobiography of Pope John XXIII

9.Yes, God!: What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories

10. Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus

11. Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It


Something for the Littles

Picture 199

1. Joseph’s Helper Tool Set & Work Apron

2. St. Therese of Lisieux Charm Clip – Shining Light Dolls

3. Can You Find Saints?: Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women

4. Lolek – The Boy Who Became Pope John Paul II

5. Advent Adventure Activity Book – Holy Heroes*

6. Carmelite Habit for 18″ doll – The Little Habit

7. My Mass Kit by Wee Believers

8. Mother Mary Pray For Us Baby Rattle Plush Toy with FREE Children’s RosaryÂŽ Glorious Mysteries CD and FREE SHIPPING


Check out last year’s guide for many more ideas, including apparel, CDs/DVDs, and Catholic food items – a treasure trove of great items!


And NOW – for our Christmas Gift Giveaway!!


We have 29 FABULOUS prizes that Catholic companies and authors have donated for this giveaway. We are proud to recommend each of these items as fabulous Christmas gifts, as well.


1 Catholic Through the Year Planner


giveaway03- $30 gift cards to CCC of America


giveaway4Trust: In Saint Faustina’s Footsteps

This is a story about Saint Faustina – the greatest Christian mystic of the twentieth century – and her devotion to the Divine Mercy, which has become the fastest spreading religious devotion in the world.
This lavishly illustrated book is essentially a love story about God’s immense love for his people and the reciprocation of this love by the humble Polish nun declared a saint by Pope John Paul II.


giveaway5Iota: A Novel

Iota is a poignant drama about what men believe and how they might act accordingly. The story takes place during a two-month period immediately following World War II, in a temporary Soviet detention facility near a devastated Berlin. It is a mystery-suspense story about what it means to be human and whether it is possible to retain one’s humanity in the face of evil.

giveaway1 1 Lil Prayer Buddy – Louie the Christmas Lamb plush (limited edition) (10″)

giveaway2 1 Lil’ Prayer Buddy – Liam the Lion from Wee Believers

1 Bearing the Bear Temporary Tattoo Kit
from Wee Believers

1 St. Francis of Assisi Prayer Pillowcase
from Prayer Pillowcases


1 St. Joan of Arc Prayer Pillowcase
from Prayer Pillowcases

giveaway71 St. Michael Prayer Pillowcase
from Prayer Pillowcases

giveaway81 St. Kateri Prayer Pillowcase from Prayer Pillowcases

giveaway61 Infant Jesus in Manger from Catholic Child

giveawayveil1 $50 Gift Certificate to Veils by Lily



2 sets Treasure Box Book Sets from TAN

giveaway141 Love With All My Might
by Jenny Ryan
A children’s book that communicates the beauty and culture of the Catholic faith to your children, Love With All My Might tells the story of a growing family through the eyes of a little girl and her evening prayers. Through beautiful illustrations and gentle rhythmic words, a Catholic culture of love and prayer is communicated to the readers. From adoring our Lord in the Eucharist to being tucked in at night, your child will recognize these familiar moments and will want to read this book again and again.

giveaway16 3 Glory Stories + Life of Jesus Coloring Book Bundle from Holy Heroes

giveawayangela2 Angela’s Song
by AnnMarie Creedon
Angela ‘Jel’ Cooke is a widow and mother of three who stays busy so as not to have to face the fact that her marriage was damaged and her husband, Devin, died before it could be repaired. Her good friends realize that no amount of home made lasagna, volunteering at church or late night games of Yahtzee can heal Angela from past regrets. When she meets Jack, the teacher of a class she is taking, he challenges her to face her demons. What follows is the poignant, yet often hilarious saga of how Angela overcomes her guilt and learns to love herself and others.

giveawaysubtle1 A Subtle Grace (O’Donovan Family)
by Ellen Gable
1896, Philadelphia In this sequel to “In Name Only” (2009, FQP), “A Subtle Grace” continues the story of the wealthy and unconventional O’Donovan Family as they approach the dawn of a new century.

giveawayjenny1 Stealing Jenny
by Ellen Gable
After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. A neighbor, however, is secretly hatching a sinister plot which will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.

1 Set of Your Holy Family T-Shirts for EVERYONE in Your (Immediate) Family – Your Holy Family Ministries
A matching set of T-shirts from Your Holy Family Ministries that will help you show family unity and spread the good news about God’s plan for family life without saying a word.

1 Advent Journey with Mary and Joseph
by Christi Gareis
The book is supported by a website where coloring pages are available for children to enjoy as well as instructions about how to create your own advent journey with Mary and Joseph. The whimsical illustrations found within the book, along with the colouring pages, are the creation of the young artist Teresa Tomas. This book is a great resource that can be used during the Advent season and has been written in a manner that a family can spread reading the book out through all of Advent, or read it in just the last week or two before Christmas.


1 $40 Gift Certificate for Catholic Printables PDF Downloads from Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families


book9Yes, God!: What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories
– Susie Lloyd
In a culture that is often dark and discouraging, where can parents look for help in raising their children? Here are the heartwarming stories of five priests, five nuns, and the parents who raised them to be open to God’s call. In Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn About Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories, Lloyd relates some of their joys and setbacks, reveals their guiding principles and rallying cries, and passes along tips from the “master” parents. The mother of seven, Lloyd also shares some of her own (often-humorous) parenting tales, and helps readers understand the various dynamics of Catholic family life and the diverse factors that influence a child’s decision to say “yes” to God.

Winners will be drawn randomly using Rafflecopter. CS will email the winners. Once they confirm they will be publicly announced on the blog. 
Winner is responsible for contacting the sponsor of the prize they won in order to work out details of delivery.
Eligibility: Prizes are available to residents of the U.S.A. only.
Catholic Sistas reserves the right to alter the giveaway terms or items at any time.
This giveaway is not associated with Facebook.
Catholic Sistas does not take sponsorships at this time; the companies who have donated these items are NOT sponsors of CS. They have generously agreed to include their items in a giveaway that CS is hosting, and occasionally provides CS with items to review; that is the only affiliation between the companies and the blog.

Thank you so much for reading; this blog wouldn’t exist without YOU! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books Ink Slingers Martina Parenting Reviews Vocations

REVIEW: Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories

Yes, God!

I have been waiting FOREVER to read Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories! No, seriously. It arrived late last week, but with my in-laws visiting I didn’t even check the mail until Sunday. It was their last full day. I couldn’t just open that book up and ignore them! So, I stared at it – saw friend Lisa Hendey’s review snippet on the cover of the book – opened it up and read the foreword. THEN I remembered one of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist {only my ALL. TIME. FAVORITE order – can I give them some daughters, please?!} was interviewed for this book. I still remember Susie’s Facebook PM asking me if I knew of any nuns or sisters for her to interview. I immediately inboxed Sister Elizabeth Ann, but found out shortly thereafter that the Order had already given a story for the book – SCORE! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to read a book!

So, I enjoyed the last day with my in-laws visiting in town – we rounded out the visit with a total slaughterfest of Euchre, followed by a close-but-still-a-win game of Skip-Bo. The next day, we said our goodbyes and I set the book next to my homeschool grading stuffs. I will read this once the kids have like 75.35% of their schoolwork done for the day. And that book stared at me, and I it.

I can’t wait to read you. 

Yes, I know. I can’t wait to be read. ::smug little book look::

Then, durn if I had to clean the house. The NOIVE! ::shaking fist:: Laundry had to be dealt with, dishes needed warshin’, kids needed feeding…and round and round we went.


Then, it was bedtime. And, it was good. And then I realized it was Monday night and I had nowhere to be. And, it was good. And THEN I realized it was Monday Night Football. And it was SO good, friends, lemme just tell ya! Guilt free reading and hanging out in the same room as husbie. SCORE.

Since I knew a little bit about the book ahead of time, I knew it would be an easy read. I love love LOVE stories of people’s lives. It totally fits into what we do at Catholic Sistas, too! Stories, witnesses, testimonies are what connect people to each other, while drawing them to a closer, deeper relationship with Christ.

The range of stories and backgrounds of those who shared is also indicative of how unique and, yet, vast the culture of our Church really is, and while the aim of the book is to take a peek inside families whose children have heard God’s call to the religious life and see what the family life really entailed, Susie points out to me that this is not a book about fostering religious vocations but rather about raising great Catholic kids who will answer God’s call.

This theme especially resonated with me because I remember asking our then parish priest, Father Jonathan Raia, what his parents did to encourage him in his walk with the Lord. Really, what I was asking but fumbling with words was


The truth was, I wasn’t looking for specific ways to encourage religious vocations…necessarily. I became intrigued when he mentioned what his family did growing up. And ya know what? It was inspiring.

When I read Yes, God! What Ordinary Families Can Learn about Parenting from Today’s Vocation Stories, it took me back to that conversation with Father Jonathan. The stories come from a variety of nuns, sisters and priests and talk about each one’s childhood and how their parents raised them – what worked, what didn’t, how the family responded to adversity and fostered that love for Christ and His Church. Though their backgrounds are all different, there is a common thread in each…

..the parents are real, everyday folks like you and me and there is a genuine love of Faith. I found this RIDICULOUSLY encouraging. I need to know that I don’t have to break myself in order to rear kidlets who love the Faith. I mean, I will break myself in other ways along the path to ::hopefully, fingers crossed:: sainthood. BUT, what this book offers is an element of simplistic joy…an element that is all-too-often overlooked in our pursuit of holiness.

The stories in the book offered me hope, encouragement and validation. 

As a parent, I know I am guilty of thinking too big picture. I want to know how this story is going to end. I forget that it’s the little things, the daily things, the sitting down and enjoying the mundane and the chaotic mess of the domestic Church that are the things that really matter in the long run.

If you’ve enjoyed Susie’s other books, Bless Me Father for I Have Kids or Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water!, you will enjoy her down-to-earth tell it like it is writing style in Yes, God!

So, buy a copy for yourself, but buy a copy for friends, too.

Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments!


GIVEAWAY: Catholic Sistas Wants to Say Thanks a Million!

I knew I wanted to do something nice for our one year anniversary from the beginning. For the past two months, I’ve been asking around to see who would like to donate some goodies for our giveaway. And it grew and grew and grew and…well, you get the idea. What a collection we’ve got! Hold onto your hats. You haven’t seen a giveaway like this before.

It’s amazing what people will donate when you twist their arm – and wrestle them until they call “uncle.” But I digress.

The following donations are a collection by friends, IRL and online, who have helped support Catholic Sistas this past year, both directly and through prayer. I am a sucker for Catholic books and authors and want to see more Catholic fiction written, particularly for our young adults. Consider patronizing these authors by clicking through to purchase some of their other works, please and thank you. 










ONE copy of Waking Rose {signed} by author Regina Doman

Our family has been a fan of Regina’s for quite some time. We have almost all her books and my teenaged daughter has enjoyed all of the fairy tale series. She was even excited to get a signed copy of Black as Night from Grandma who met Regina at a book signing a couple of years ago. Waking Rose is a great book choice not just for young adults, but the young at heart, too. You will become an instant fan of Regina Doman and no doubt want to collect the rest of the books in this great series.


ONE copy of  Sex, Style & Substance {signed} by book contributor Jennifer Fulwiler 

Description: Who is to say who the authentic Catholic woman is?

And how do the perils and pitfalls of modern society impact that vision?

Here is a fresh look at life from the perspective of ten Catholic women who live in the spotlight of the Internet — ten bloggers who keep it real every day with their personal posts relating their triumphs, trials, and temptations for all to see.

In the same way, nothing is off limits in Style, Sex, & Substance. Each of these women brings a refreshingly open and humorous perspective to growing in faith and improving their relationship with Christ.

Enjoy real stories, real struggles, and best of all, real faith and trust that God will bring out the best in all circumstances — whether in the family room, the bedroom, or at work.

Contributors include:
Hallie Lord, editor
Jennifer Fulwiler
Danielle Bean
Rachel Balducci
Simcha Fisher
Anna Mitchell
Barbara Nicolosi
Rebecca Teti
Elizabeth Duffy
Karen Edmisten


ONE copy of If Protestantism is True {signed} by author and contributor Devin Rose

Description: What if Protestantism were true?

That’s the question Rose takes up and explores. Each argument assumes Protestantism is true and then attempts to make sense of Christian history and theology based on that assumption. In this way, he presents a series of intelligible and compelling arguments for the Catholic Church’s claim to be the Church that Christ founded.

Catholics will learn to defend their faith, and Protestants will be challenged to answer the toughest questions about the roots of their beliefs.


ONE copy of Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids {signed} by author Susie Lloyd


The uninterrupted life is not worth living

Got questions about Catholic family life? You’ve come to the right place! As a lifelong Catholic, devoted wife, diligent homeschooler, and mother of seven, Susie Lloyd knows lots of people who just might have the answers for you. Susie herself is too busy to give advice: busy giving home haircuts and finding missing socks; busy teaching her teen girls to drive, cook, and diagram sentences; busy praying for divine protection while she races off to church (late) in her full-size van. But every so often, Susie finds a few moments to share the wit and wisdom she’s gleaned from:

Teaching her kids about the Facts of Life Somewhere there must be a book which can aid me in my duty. In it there would be many pages devoted to birds, bees, and flowers. None involving kegs and station wagons.

Quelling her teen girls’ phobias Top of the list is frumpophobia: fear of being seen in a skirt when every other teen at the party, except the statue of Mary, will be in jeans. It gets worse if your dad thinks it would be lovely not only to wear the skirt but a veil as well.

Handing on Catholic customs When I was small, my mother taught me to say a Hail Mary whenever I heard an ambulance. It’s really a beautiful habit and habit is the word — I don’t know how many people I’ve prayed for whose car alarm was going off.

Getting older Some people tell me I could be my teen’s older sister. These people are usually 103 years old and wear their glasses hanging from a chain. But I’ll take it.

Strangers who question the size of her family What’s funny is, the people who call you nuts really expect you to act sane, and not like this: Nuts? Children, would one of you be a good girl and get the gun out of Mommy’s diaper bag?

Enduring her children’s music lessons Piano recitals are a time-honored way of gaining a plenary indulgence, provided we hold no attachment to murdering the piano teacher.

Joing a homeschool co-op None of us wanted to quit homeschooling; we just wanted somebody else to do it for us.

As she did in her beloved first book, Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water, in these pages Susie Lloyd will charm and edify you with her offbeat — but always pitch-perfect — take on the joys and challenges of raising a Catholic family in today’s world.


ONE copy of Stealing Jenny {signed} by author Ellen Gable

Description: After three heartbreaking miscarriages, Tom and Jenny Callahan are happily anticipating the birth of their sixth child. A neighbor, however, is secretly hatching a sinister plot which will find Jenny and her unborn baby fighting for their lives.

“Stealing Jenny is a gripping novel filled with engaging characters, a compelling mystery and a message which underscores the precious dignity of life. I literally couldn’t put it down and give Stealing Jenny my highest recommendation.”

-Lisa M. Hendey, author of “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms”

“Ellen Gable is a masterful storyteller.Stealing Jenny is a smoothly written, chilling tale of gripping suspense. There are terrifying moments and heart-wrenching moments. Catholic faith and hope are tested. Above all, the sacredness and privilege of precious new life is made indisputably evident I never wanted it to end!”

-Therese Heckenkamp, author, Past Suspicion

“This is a novel that should come with a warning label! Stealing Jenny will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens.”

-Sarah Reinhard, author, “Welcome Baby Jesus: Advent and Christmas Reflections for Families”


ONE bundled book The Princess and The Kiss with audio CD & Life Lessons {signed} by author Jennie Bishop

Description of The Princess and The Kiss: A loving king and queen present their daughter with a gift from God – her first kiss – to keep or to give away. The wise girl waits for the man who is worthy of her precious gift. Where is he and how will she ever find him? The surprising answer in this marvelous parable will touch the heart of parent and child alike.The Princess and the Kiss beautifully portrays the ageless message that “love… comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5)

Description of Life Lessons: Picking up where “Princess and the Kiss” left off, this easy-to-use devotional covers biblical teaching on purity, relationships and God’s plans for marriage (or singleness) with your child in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way.

You and your daughter can build a godly heritage with these short, practical, life-changing studies and activities.


ONE Catholic Mom shopping bag that consists of two books, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and and brand new release O Radiant Dawn: 5-Minute Prayers Around the Advent Wreath, both {signed} by author Lisa Hendey 

Lisa M. Hendey of Catholic Mom congratulates Catholic Sistas!


ONE bundled soft CD case and 5 audio CDs: 5 Virtues All Catholic Parents Should Pass On To Their  Children, Marriage Insurance, The Holy Eucharist, Catholic 5 – Non-negotiable Issues: Defending the Catholic Conscience ::includes bonus disc on the HHS Mandate, and Your Catholic Faith: Learn It, Live It, Love It (…and you’ll never Leave IT!) {signed} by Father Rocky of Relevant Radio

Father Rocky is the Executive Director of Relevant Radio and host of the popular program, Go Ask Your Father.


ONE Large Black Soft Tulle Triangle Mantilla by Veils by Lily

New Soft Tulle Collection

We are happy to introduce the new Soft Tulle Collection, made with one of the finest laces available.
Currently available in white and black, each veil has a delightful softness and drapes beautifully.


ONE Medium White Soft Tulle Almondine Mantilla by Veils by Lily


ONE – one year subscription to Radiant Magazine

Relatively new to the magazine world, this amazing magazine offers a wonderful and refreshing change to the secular magazine choices for our Catholic teen girls. From the Radiant Magazine website – Radiant is a chic, classy Catholic magazine distributed nationally to women ages 15-27. It features Catholic news & articles on issues affection young women today: health, beauty, politics, love, style and difficult life circumstances. If you haven’t heard of them before, have a look at some of their previous issues and consider a subscription for yourself or those awesome formidable teen gals and young adults in your life.


TWO Knit crochet baby hats by Nat’s Niche

newborn size

(can be used for daily wear but can also be used as photo-props)

Girl {right} – knitted pixie cap with venetian lace and leather

Boys {left} – crochet cap with leather and wooden buttons

Both made with wool/acrylic yarn.


THREE Custom pro-life rosaries and rosary holders

Seen here are only two of the rosary holders and two of the rosaries above.

This giveaway prize involves THREE SETS of one pro-life rosary and one clay rosary holder. In other words, there will be three winners who will each win one rosary and a rosary holder.

The pro-life rosaries are made by Chee Hart of Unique Rosaries for Mary and they are hand strung crystal and bead rosaries.  The ones donated for the giveaway are a special pro-life design.

You can find Chee on Etsy, her Facebook fan page, or her blog.

The clay rosary holders are handmade pottery by Donna of Donnabelle on Etsy. You can also find her on her Facebook fan page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 TWO custom Catholic Sistas bottles of wine courtesy of founder Martina and our friends at Personal Wine







This giveaway includes:

ONE bottle of 2010 Viva de los Andes Cabernet AND ONE bottle of 2010 Viva de los Andes Sauvignon Blanc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Authors Guest Posts

It’s the End of the (Real) World as We Know It

by author Susie Lloyd

used with permission by Sophia Institute Press

Years ago my friend Maria came back to the Church. It was the end of the world as she knew it.

In her youth, Maria was a heavy-metal fan; born, like a lot of people in the Sixties, with a deaf wish. But even though rock is now part of the mainstream, and even though liturgical music had it goin’ on in the Seventies, and even though Bob Dylan did a papal concert, there is still no Church-sanctioned version of Ozzy. So she kissed him goodbye.

After that it was goodbye modern TV and movies, goodbye to certain fashions from Trends R Us, goodbye to checkout-lane magazines and commerce on Sundays.

She came to me in a moment of despair and asked when it was going to stop. When, when was life going to seem normal again?

I broke the news: never.

I’m a cradle Catholic who considers being in a coma the only valid excuse for missing Sunday Mass, and I’m still not done saying goodbye to the world.

First it was goodbye to electronics, shoes, clothes, and toys made in Communist China.

At the same time, there was the Disney boycott. Remember that? It wasn’t that their latest princesses were feminists who could “take care of” themselves and routinely rescued men in distress with an agility that was almost cartoonish. It wasn’t that Cinderella’s and Snow White’s torso had been digitally enhanced for the purpose of advertising. It all fell apart when their subsidiary companies started making movies that brought Catholics out to protest with signs and rosaries.

That was the year the kids got underwear for Christmas.

Then I saw a special on PBS about underwear manufacturers who, in league with the World Bank, are driving third-world nations into insurmountable debt.

An underwear boycott is clearly called for here, but just how long can it go on?

Then there’s the problem of eating. Here you are, reading every label to find out what dyes and preservatives are added that might make your offspring sterile in twenty years when you are safely too dead from cancer to file a lawsuit. Naturally you start shopping at health-food stores. On your way in, you see a giant poster of a swami. Great. The store is New Age. Your conscience says there is another health-food store across town. Ten miles. Not far to go to do the right thing. Of course it is likely that it will also be New Age. You decide to ignore the swami. Where else can you go to get products that look and taste just like the poisonous originals? They cost twice as much, but that’s okay. You should really eat less anyway. Thus far, you’ve got it all worked out. You’re proud of yourself.

Then you tell a friend all about it, and she informs you that one hundred percent of the profits from these products go to organizations whose sole mission is to uproot all traces of Christianity from the planet.

In a frenzy, you run out and buy seeds. Then you shop around in six stores for the best price on a chest freezer.

On your way home, you are exhausted. You pull into a Burger Bits franchise. Your conscience reminds you that you’re supposed to be boycotting this one, due to the fact that last year it was an official sponsor of the NAMBLA Olympics. It prods you to go across the highway to the competitor. Just a half-mile down the road, then loop around in the U-turn, a half-mile up again, and ten minutes later you arrive at the competition across the road.

Uh, wait a mainute. Maybe this is the place you’re boycotting, and it’s the place you just left that’s in the clear. You pull slowly up to the window, trying to ignore the smells seeping into your car. You toy with the idea of asking the cashier if the name Donald Wildmon sets off any buzzers. Right.

You ask yourself, WWJD? That’s a tough one. He’d probably opt to go hungry. You ask yourself what would Mom do? No good. She’d be at home, cooking. She never did anything half so frivolous as you just did. You suddenly feel very alone.

The struggle to maintain a standard of Catholic culture is suspended. The smells are too much. You’ve decided to eat there no matter what. An evil voice inside your head says, “Might as well go all the way. Go on, pull over. Eat it in the car, and while you’re at it, blast the radio. The kids will never know….” You pull the burger from the bag and shove it down without allowing yourself to think. You refuse to care whether the franchise serves a cola that funds a charity that donates to an organization that contributes to population control in countries where the World Bank directs unfair labor practices. Perhaps just last week, they switched to a lesser-of-two-evils cola whose only crime is unseemly commercials, but you’ll never know. You don’t have cable, so you don’t get channels that carry unseemly commercials. You can’t even tell one cola from another anyway. Besides that, you didn’t even get a cola – due to an article you read linking caffeine with premature aging. You are drinking water. Pure, free, chlorinated tap water with added fluoride…which has been linked to Alzheimer’s…in a wax paper cup that makes it taste like blood!

Suddenly none of this matters anymore. You realize you have just eaten a cheeseburger without even unwrapping it.

You leave with a feeling of self-satisfaction you haven’t had in a long time. The paper that is now inside you was recycled. You have just done your part in saving the planet!

::Susie Lloyd’s award winning book, Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water is only her first. Check out her sequel, Bless Me Father, For I Have Kids. Her next book is due out in October 2013, with Ave Maria Press.::

Authors Domestic Church Faith Formation Guest Posts Motherhood Vocations

Chivalry Is Dead: It Collided With My Stroller

I never understood why the women of my mom’s generation had the urge to roar.

There’s something to the old ways, where men and women lived by a set code. Heck, if men would go back to paying for luxuries, opening doors, and fighting for our honor, I could certainly modulate my voice, exude charm, and do a few dishes. It might even be worth wearing a corset.

My mom never roared. She was proud of the fact that she didn’t have to support her husband financially. She didn’t want her own paycheck. She wanted to spend his. Her name was on at least four store credit cards, and his was on the bills. He didn’t seem to mind a bit.

Whose idea was it that we should change this?

It was that class of women who decided to work for eight hours, come home, cook, do housework, and in between drive the kids all over the place, all without a man. And then had the gall to say they were liberated!

Mom felt that she was doing enough. Aside from taking care of a male-dominated household of ten, she taught catechism, counseled unwed mothers, and organized prayer vigils. She never complained about my dad’s enormous garden and the acres of farmland that, besides cultivation, provided hours of canning and freezing work for her. She did not complain because she was doing exactly what she wanted to do.

In the early twentieth century, Laura Ingalls Wilder was asked to add her name to the feminist movement. She declined on the grounds of not being able to relate to it. As a farm wife, she knew the priceless value of her economic contribution.

It was the bonbon eaters who wanted out. They were bored and unfulfilled. But I personally blame the men. Once they caught on that they were being let off the hook, there was no stopping it.

Hank: Lois is sick of watching soaps and eating bonbons all day. She wants a job.

Mel: What are you going to do about it?

Hank: I don’t know. It’d mean more money, and I’d quit cab driving nights. Course, she’d probably expect me to hang out with the kids more and help with the dishes once in a while.

Mel: Tough choice.

Hank and Mel made up the slogan, “You go, girl!” Hank and Mel are revered by feminists everywhere as sensitive folk-singer types.

Now we have come full circle. Larger household incomes have driven prices up, our material wants have become needs, so now an ordinary paycheck no longer covers the cost of living. Women now get heart disease at the same rate as men, and in a few more years we might yet break even on the mortality rates.

And still, the majority of women will tell you we are better off than our grandmothers were. We can now work on highways and mail rooms, and at other jobs that were traditionally hogged by men in the past. We can file for divorce just as easily as men and lose custody of our children at the rate men traditionally used to.

To think that in third-world countries with traditional sexual roles, women are missing out on this! The divorce rate is abominably low and the birth rate dangerously high; virginity is prized, and marriage is thought of as a positive good. We must export liberation to these backward places right away!

Even if you manage to stay stubbornly unliberated here, you can’t fail to reap the benefits of progress.

For instance, in my sheltered world, my husband carries the baby in one hand and opens doors for me with the other. Out there, in the Real World, doors sometimes drop in my face. Real World logic goes: It’s degrading to have someone open a door for a woman as if she can’t open it herself. Never mind if she can’t because she’s pushing a stroller and holding on to a bunch of other kids at the same time. That’s the Catholic Church’s and her husband’s fault for making her have so many children.

Let it be a lesson to all who resist progress!

Still, there is much work to be done. According to some feminists on a talk show I recently saw, the percentage of girls who went to become plumbers is still in the negatives. Girls still obstinately gravitate towards hairdressing. Everyone knows hairdressers are shamefully underpaid compared with the selfish men who earn three times as much just for unclogging toilets. Remember girls, you’re worth it.

Poor mom. She was just too oppressed to know what she was missing.

::Susie Lloyd was born into a large Catholic family that spanned the baby boom through the hippie and preppie decades. She was educated in parochial and public schools and in a parent-run catechetical center. She is a graduate of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. She is the surprised recipient of three Catholic Press Association awards, one for her first book, Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water and two for her columns in Faith and Family Magazine. She is also a long time columnist for The Latin Mass Magazine and contributes to Inside Catholic, The National Catholic Register and Faith and Family Live! She is an enthusiastic member of Sunrise Toastmasters and enjoys connecting with her readers through public speaking. She is also the author of Bless Me Father, For I Have Kids. She and her husband Greg have been married for over twenty years, homeschool, and have seven lively children. She finds time to write in the dark hours before dawn or from the middle bench of her full-size van.You can also find more lively writing by Susie at her personal blog, Susie Lloyd: Unedited, and her next book due out next year with Ave Maria Press::


This chapter taken from Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water and used with permission by Sophia Institute Press.