Product Review!

*If you are my mother-in-law, do not read this post, or your Christmas gift will be ruined.

A couple weeks ago I was wading through the abyss of my inbox when I came across an unopened message from a rep at Discount Catholic Products, offering me a chance to do a review of one of their products and get a free something-or-other in return. Free stuff! I thought. Sweet!

I spent a while clicking through the website. It was exactly what you would expect from a site called “Discount Catholic Products”…everything from engraveable medals and Bibles to St Joseph home sale kits and car statues. (No kidding. They actually sell car statues. I didn’t know such a thing existed.) Being partial to all things sculpted, I finally ended up in the statuary section, where I found this lovely little gem:

Madonna of the Streets Plaque

I immediately thought of my in-laws, whose home is filled with statues and icons like this. Simple, tasteful, not at all gaudy, but still with a quiet loveliness. So I chose this plaque, thinking that it would make a nice Christmas gift for my mother-in-law.

Full disclosure: I did not expect this item to be of good quality. These types of “discount warehouse” websites always make me, well, a little wary. The emphasis is usually quantity over quality, and the items invariably arrive chipped, cracked or poorly painted. So my expectations were somewhere in the range of particle board and cheap paint.

I was pleasantly surprised. The plaque is hollow but still has a surprisingly nice weight to it. The sculpting is actually fairly well-done for a mass produced plaque. The facial expression on Our Lady that you see here is exactly the one that she wears in the actual plaque, which was my biggest concern. There’s no chipping in the paint and no random cracks or unfinished crevices. And the gold background, which I was also a little nervous about, is shiny but not overly so. It’s actually kind of perfect. When it catches the sunlight it glimmers a little, making a nice illuminated background for the sculpture.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the plaque. It’s of a much higher quality than the price would imply. I honestly would not expect to find anything this nice for under $50. And the Virgin has such a lovely expression on her face. I want to keep it, actually, or order one for myself. There’s a sort of peace about the image that I could really use around our house.

Coincidentally, the Ogre reminded me that this website is the same one we ordered medals from to make rosaries for the Ogre’s family a few Christmases ago. We were also happy with those. The price was so much lower than the other websites we looked at that we were prepared for shoddy craftsmanship, but they were quite nice and exactly as advertised. This is the rare discount supplier that doesn’t cut corners and compromise on quality just to make a buck.

So, if you’re a total procrastinator like I am and still have 90% of your Christmas gifts to buy, this is a great site for Catholic products. They also have some nice bare crosses if you’re not into the whole crucifix thing. And they have a 10% off special right now on orders over $20. So? What are you waiting for? Go forth and shop! Participate in capitalism without changing out of your pajamas! It’s a win-win!

Here’s a link to Discount Catholic Products, and here is a direct link to the plaque pictured above. Happy shopping!

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