Yes, I know, you don’t want to think about Mother’s Day just yet, but as the ranking Daughter-in-Law around here, I must think about it now, or before I know it, I’ll get stuck cooking for 25 people, most of them named Joe, Joey or Joseph, Salvatore, Sal or Sally. And those are just the boys.
So, Mother’s Day is coming and money is a little tighter this year than last year, and chances are the $125 an-ounce perfume you gave your mother last year is still on her dresser, not even half-used, because she doesn’t want to “waste” it. This year, you think you’d like to spend a little less, but you are not sure how to do that, without seeming cheap?
I have solved your problem for you. In fact, if you don’t have a mother, but need a gift for Fathers Day, I’ve solved your problem too.
Go monastic. Tell your mom or dad that you wanted to get them non-cluttering, high-quality consumables that have the added bonus of helping others; not just “other” others, but monastic others, the people the world needs to pray for them!
You can even make a little basket of monastic gift items; that’s what I’m doing.
Start with the best coffee on the planet, bar none, from the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, otherwise known as The Mystic Monk Coffee Makers, or -as we call them over here- “the liquid-crack brothers” about whom I have been fantasizing thusly:
Vespers was done, I was craving coffee, and since the good monks at Mystic Monk Coffee have not yet figured out how to create a chain of drive-through monasteries at which I may satisfy my daily longing for their incredible, smooth, rich java (truly the best coffee I’ve ever had, see right sidebar), I went to a different drive-through chain for an inferior but fast and hot blend.
Aside: I love the idea of a drive-through monastery/coffee house. At the intercom you hear a chant: “Benedicite…Caaaan weeee heeeelp youuu?”
Me: “Monks! Gimmee coffee! The Dark Roast! The incredible Hazelnut! GIMMEE IRISH CREME COFFEE! And a Novena! And put it in a Saint-of-the-Day cup!”
Monk: “Deo Gratias…Wouuuulllld youuuu like a bleeeeeeeesssssinnnngg with that jaaavaaaa?”
Me: “Yes! Bless me till your blesser is broke and throw in a Pater Noster!”
Monk: “Alleluia Alleluia! Driiiiive thrrroooouugh toooo the seecond winnndoowww In nomine patrie…”
What to buy? I am a huge fan of the Hermit’s Bold Blend, (the Dark Roast Colombian is also very good) but then, I like a richer cup of coffee. If Mom is a Folger’s type, try some Mystic Monk Blend. If she likes nuttier coffee, the Cowboy Blend. The monks have fair-trade coffees and a Dark Sumatran. I am told by the in-laws, who would know, what they call “black coffee” and what the monks call their Espresso Blend is “the best” they’ve ever used.
If your mom likes the flavored coffees, I can personally tell you that the Hazelnut and the Royal Rum Pecan are just stupidly good. The Royal Rum Pecan had us making pots of coffee at 11PM (decaf) because we couldn’t get enough. I’m not an Irish Creme fan, but if even I like their Irish Creme blend, and don’t even get me started on the Jingle Bell Java which the monks cruelly only offer toward the Christmas season (apparently, for our own good) and which we are still drinking over here only because I selfishly decided not to it give away at Christmas, instead keeping it for myself. Uncle Joey got a Tony Bennett CD.
No kidding this is seriously great coffee – no matter what you order, you will be pleased.
Soft lips, soft skin, great value
If Mom is not a coffee drinker, how about some lovely soaps and lotions (and the best lip balm, evah) from the also-burgeoning Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ. I can’t say enough about the Oatmeal soap (I’m trying to get them to create an Oatmeal hand creme to go with it) or the gloriously rose-scented Rosarium Mariae.
The good sisters also have manlier scents for dads, and if either parent loves to garden (you giving a plant for Mother’s Day?) my dirt-happy neighbor sang the praises, last year, of the Gardener’s soap. They’re coming out with new scents for the summer, Pink Grapefruit, Lily of the Valley and more, but I don’t think they’ve got them up on the site, yet.
Does Mom like the rosary?
I’ve written many times about St. Hubert’s Rosary Bracelets, and I still can’t say enough about them, even though the pics don’t do them justice. I’ve worn my original, beautiful “fancy agate” bracelet almost every day for well over a year and it still fits comfortably; it’s not stretched out, at all.
These are the best rosary bracelet’s on the market -they don’t snag on clothes, and they don’t wear out- and they’re made not by nuns, but by a home-schooling Catholic mother, who also makes children’s sizes, so…if you need a Communion gift for some little girl?
Speaking of Communions, let me veer off of Mother’s Day just for a second and tell you that my little nieces and nephews love these Truth in the Heart videos put out by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Painless catechesis for grades 1-5, taught charmingly by young women in religious habits. What is not to love?
Okay, finally, if Mother must have chocolate, give her The Dangerous Stuff, the homemade toffee put out by another home-schooling family, the Ross family of Pennsylvania. Believe me when I say it is incredible. And yes, dangerous. You try to swipe a piece and your mother will be all over you like Chris Matthews on a Bushie, but with less spit or malice.
And don’t ask me if I meant “spite” and malice. What I have written, I have written.
UPDATED: Dellbabe wanted to know why I left out Monastery Mustard. I’d forgotten! That’s good stuff. The Devoutly Dill Mustard is to die for on salmon and my sons and their friends love the Hallelujah Jalepeno.