We blinked and it’s November. Anybody else feel like that?! As hard as the last couple of years have been, I still see so much good in the world. For the last four years I have loved putting together a small gift guide for y’all (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020). It’s my hope that these little ideas spark big love in your gift giving this season. I’m sharing mine a little earlier knowing that many folks are closing shops earlier or battling the ever-favorite “supply chain issues.” As I put this year’s ideas together, keep these things in mind:
- This is just a small snippet of all the things I love (just ask Mr. Whitaker, ha!). Be sure you check out those past guides. And, if there’s something you love and you want the world to know about it, please post it in the comments, like we used to do back in 2011.
- Not every idea will be your glass of sweet tea, but I’m hopeful a shop or a product will inspire you to give gifts with intention. Sometimes the best ones don’t cost us a thing.
- No gift, no matter how amazing it is, will trump your gift of time with the people you love. More than anything, I pray you appreciate the gift of the present moment. 2021 taught me that.
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As the daughter of a Western artist, I’m a sucker for pieces made with an eye for beauty. My dear friend from high school, Bethany Fields, is a celebrated pastel artist. Her piece of the Texas panhandle is my all-time favorite. Elisa at Truly Kindred makes stunning jewelry (that she forges herself!) along with so many lovely creations. And, a beautiful table is really set apart with linens. It just dresses it up so beautifully. Brava, Lovely Lady Linens!
Reading opens up so many worlds of creativity, imagination and understanding. These three books, in my opinion, have done just that for my own children. Fabiola Garza, Disney character artist, wrote AND illustrated A Boy Who Became Pope, a book about Pope John Paul II. Claire Swinarski gives voice to a strong tween female in her second young adult book, Kate in Between. And, Meg Hunter Kilmer’s book, Saints Around the World, shares absolutely fascinating narratives about holy men and women from every continent. These. Are. So. Good.
This one is for all those hard-working women out there (moms or not) because sometimes you just need some joggers (I’ll take one in every color please), some James Avery hoop earrings and a little Beautycounter gloss (amber shimmer and rosewood are my favorites) to feel like you can conquer the day. #southernproblems Dr Pepper not included but highly recommended.
*CLEANFORALL20 gets new clients 20% off Beautycounter
My guys are always the hardest to buy for every year. If you want to hop aboard the natural deodorant bandwagon (I’m telling you, it’s not as bad as you think), we’re big fans of Native here. Mr. Whitaker says the citrus and herbal musk is a winner. The Traeger has made us want to smoke all the things. I do mean alllll the things. And, I know those Bowflex adjustable barbells are listed for guys, but I’m gonna be using them, too!
After a year of seeing my living room, traveling again sure feels good! We have definitely been bitten by the wanderlust bug. If you have too, or if you’re just dreaming about your next destination, these ideas are sure to get you excited. That Be A Heart passport holder is cute and functional. I SWEAR by my Kelly Wynne backpack (yes, it holds a laptop) and toiletry bag. I used the heck out of them on pilgrimage in France. And, how cute are those airport code sweatshirts from Flytographer? In addition to their travel shop, you can book a photoshoot with them in 380+ cities around the world!
*KATHRYNTX10 for 10% off at Be a Heart | KATHRYNWHITAKER15 for 15% off at Kelly Wynne | KWHITAKER50 for $50 off your Flytographer photoshoot
If your spiritual life needs a kickstart, these three things have been SO fruitful for my own. FRG Ministry has a plethora of online courses and I’m a big fan of Fr. Rob and his “Knowing Mary” course. January Jane shop just launched her saint polaroid’s which feel perfect for the teenager in your life (I gave mine to the Catholic high school theology teachers!) My Every Sacred Sunday Mass journal has completely transformed my church experience, giving me so much to reflect upon during prayer time outside of church.
*KATHRYN10 for 10% off at January Jane Shop and 10% off at Every Sacred Sunday
There are LOTS of box options and these are my absolute favorites because of the variety and quality of the products included. If you’re looking for a one-time box, or a subscription, Catholic Family Crate is great for young families. When you need a little self-care, Olive and June (their colors, y’all). And, the Artza box, delivered quarterly, includes handmade things straight from the Holy Land. If I had to pick a favorite, that’s the one I’d choose!
*TEAMWHITAKER21 for 20% off at Catholic Family Crate
I’m a speed reader (did y’all know that about me?!) but sometimes you need your hands free to crank out a book. There’s not a book that challenged me more than Malcolm Galdwell’s Talking to Strangers. I think it’s a must-read for everyone. Similarly, the book (and movie) Just Mercy encouraged me to re-think my previous position on the death penalty. And, while my audio book is nowhere near the caliber of those two, if you like a good southern accent with a little sass, I can at least deliver that 😉
Want to know what I think the secret to aging gracefully? Drink lots of water and get youself a moisturizer! Makeup is fun and I’m a big fan, but you gotta take care of the base, first. I switched to Beautycounter a couple of years ago and I’ve been so impressed with the results – smoother skin, healthier glow and cleaner products. Just take a browse through the holiday sets (those are always fun) but start with the skincare regimens. If you’re unsure of which one to start with, take this quiz and then email me!
*CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off for new clients
For the first time, I opted to include three of my favorite businesses and charities in Austin. If you aren’t an Austinite, I encourage you to look around your own local community and find a way to support the folks where you live! Mobile Loaves and Fishes was started by my friend, Alan Graham and boy has it changed the face of homelessness in Austin. He is a living saint y’all. And, if you’re looking for two businesses to support, I can’t sing the praises of Que Bueno Bakery and Mint Event Design enough. Both Vanessa and Carolina are doing great things for their industries and are such strong Hispanic women. I adore them both.
Oh my goodness that was fun, y’all. May you be inspired to give intentionally this holiday season!