Tag: religious gift stores

Inspirational Gifts and Other Special Ways to Encourage a Teacher

 

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Praying For You Today – Note Cards

September is over. By now the mad rush to find backpacks and pack lunches in the morning has become routine along with after-dinner homework sessions in the evening. The school year brings all kinds of new demands on everyone in the family. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and become self-focused in the frenzy.

Teachers in your children’s classrooms are likely facing many of the same challenges you have to deal with. Many of them are taking care of families each morning and evening on top of preparing for your child’s daily education. With just a small gesture, you can encourage your child’s teacher and demonstrate the other-centeredness to which Christ calls us.

It isn’t hard to encourage another person, you just need to make a plan and do it. Here are some inspirational gifts and ideas for blessing the teachers – or principals, librarians, bus drivers – in your life.

1. Send a card.
Just a few words can really go a long way. Thank a teacher for his/her role in your child’s life. Thank them for the hours of planning and grading and the words of wisdom they are investing in your child. You can let the teacher know that you are praying for them.

2. Send something for the break room.
It could be specialty coffee (pumpkin spice in the fall for example), a favorite soda pop or a jug of tea – but send along something to enjoy during break time. If you love to cook, bake some homemade goodies and put them on a pretty tray.

3. Volunteer to be a helper.
Let your child’s teacher know that you are willing to help. Offer to cut out craft supplies, make copies or staple papers. If it is okay with your school’s policies, offer to monitor a recess or come in occasionally to read aloud to children. Some volunteer duties can be done in the evening if you work.

4. Give a Christian bookmark.
This is a small gift and it doesn’t cost a lot, but it will be a regular reminder of your support. Pick one that has words of faith, gratitude or a prayer for needed grace. Let him/her know that you realize that teaching means they have little time for recreational reading and thank them for the sacrifice.

5. Provide a box of seasonal or holiday cards.
You feel like you are meeting yourself coming and going – and it’s likely that your child’s teacher feels the same. Drop off a box of seasonal cards and maybe a page of stamps with a post-it note saying ‘just in case you don’t have time to shop this season’.

6. Wrap up some Christian music.
Christian music is near the top of the list when it comes to inspirational gifts. Listening to inspirational music during the ride to or from school can refresh anyone – including teachers.

7. When all else fails, gift cards are also a nice gesture.
If you can’t think of anything else, a gift card to the local coffee shop, nail salon, or grocery store is always welcome.

It will only take a few extra minutes in the week to encourage the person who is with your child all day. And, nothing compares to the great feeling of knowing you’ve followed one of Christ’s commands – to consider the needs of others. If you’re looking for other great inspirational cards and gifts, why not check out The Printery House – an online Christian gift store offering inspirational gifts anyone would enjoy receiving.

The Election of Pope Francis is Encouraging for Catholic Gift Stores

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Pope Francis Portrait in Gold Frame

Early August saw the 17th annual Catholic Marketing Network convention. The event is really a trade show where suppliers can showcase merchandise to buyers. It’s also a great place to witness trends within the Catholic community. This year’s show was brimming with enthusiasm for expanding inventory to include new items tailor-made for Catholic shoppers.

The convention was buzzing with opportunity. Many there were discussing how to reinvent Catholic gift stores with new items and new marketing strategies. The foundation of Catholic supply houses has long been the sale of devotional materials like books, icons and rosaries but the buzz on the convention floor was that this is a good time to expand inventory. A lot of the excitement about tapping into the Catholic sales market has to do with the church’s new pope, Pope Francis.

Pope Francis is a leader who has already managed to gain positive attention from the world press and many Catholics are energized by his outspoken yet loving leadership style. Pope Francis is clearly interested in reaching out to all Catholics including those currently outside the fold of the church. This rekindled enthusiasm among Catholics and belief that Francis will be effective in calling many to faith, is expected to translate into increased sales at Catholic gift stores.

Already, demand for Pope Francis-themed items has begun to soar. One of the largest suppliers of Catholic artwork reported devoting entire work weeks to producing wall art featuring the Pope, including at least one life-size cardboard cutout of the pontiff. Catholic gift stores will certainly be offering more greeting cards, Holy cards, bookmarks and other items highlighting Pope Francis. But most vendors agreed that it is time to start offering Catholic shoppers an even broader range of merchandise that celebrates their faith.

Of course, Catholic gift stores face some of the same challenges confronting all book retailers and faith merchandisers – a competitive market where consumers don’t necessarily need to shop at a specialty store to find what they want at the best price. Catholic retailers need only glance over at evangelical retailers to see how stiff the competition for customers can be. Evangelical bookstores are struggling to compete with online bookstores and giant discount stores that now carry some, though not all, of the same merchandise.

While mega-stores may carry some of the big name book titles and generic Christian gift items, Catholic stores can still be competitive if they revamp their marketing strategy to include items that promote the Catholic faith/brand. There is room for innovation and creativity in the current climate. The Pope has infused Catholics with renewed zeal and there will be demand for faith-centered merchandise if it is offered with a bit of savvy and a lot of excitement.

If you are looking for cards, gifts or books that celebrate your Catholic faith check out The Printery House. This Catholic purveyor of faith-centered gifts and supplies is run by the monks of Conception Abbey, and sales help to support the on-site seminary. Cards are made on-site at The Printery House using the artwork and lettering created by the monks themselves.