Looking for a way to make your gifts more meaningful? Why not give a gift that was sent from above? OK, well maybe not really from above, but these gifts made by nuns and monks are the next best thing. From cheesecakes to art to beer, these gifts are made by nuns and monks around the country. Purchasing them directly supports their vocations. But beyond that, they're also gourmet products made by people with the patience to do things right. There's a price for that patience though: some of these won't work as last-minute gifts for Christmas, but they're good ideas to keep in mind for New Year's celebrations and beyond.
Heavenly cheesecakes. The sisters of the New Skete Monastery in upstate New York have a talent for baking that some might call divine. Their cheesecakes, which sell for $40 apiece, come in chocolate, amaretto and key lime.
Fruitcake and fudge. Need another kind of sweet treat? The monks from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky support themselves by farming and making delectable desserts such as Kentucky Bourbon Fruitcakes and Chocolate Mint Julep Fudge.
County cheese. If cheese is your thing, the nuns at Our Lady of the Angels can hook you up with a two-pound wheel of gouda that's some kind of good-a. (Sorry, couldn't resist!)
Angelic art. Find original artwork of flowers, beach scenes, and even famous saintly characters on mugs, T-shirts, posters, necklaces, prints and more from the nuns of Artaura.
Soaps and sundries. Looking for something clean and pure? How about some soaps or body washes from the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania? They also sell jewelry, cards and artwork.
Belgian brews. You can find a wide assortment of Belgian beer brewed by Trappist and other monks and nuns at Monastery Greetings. Try the Trappistes Rochefort Ale (a dark red brew) from the Rochefort Abbey or strong dark Chimay Ale from Scourmont Abbey.
Devout decaf. Let the monks from Mystic Monk Coffee create your daily buzz this year with their sweet assortments of coffees and teas. They do have decaf (Vespers Decaf) as well as fuller brews like the Midnight Vigils blend or even the half-caffeinated Little Monk Blend.
Prayerful popcorn. You can find popcorn, fudge and other gifts at Prayerfully Popped. Special holiday popcorn flavors include Candy Cane and Tuxedo Biscotti.
For a directory of more gifts made by nuns and monks, check out A Nuns Life.