What to get a Christain who has everything on Christmas

What do you give the Christian who has everything this Christmas?  How about a pin cushion sensitively modeled on St Sebastian, the third-century martyr riddled with a hail of arrows?

Or for the more technologically minded, how about a Virgin Mary memory stick to store computer data, complete with a flashing “sacred heart”?

These are among gifts of questionable taste included in a “12 days of Kitschmas” list unveiled by Ship of Fools, a satirical Christian website.

The items have been selected by Stephen Goddard, a former Church of England press officer, and Simon Jenkins, the web site’s editor, to highlight the absurdity of religious kitsch.

One of the favorites is a calendar in which scantily clad models pose in front of a range of wood coffins, created by a firm of undertakers in Rome. Described by the website as the “Pirelli Calendar for morticians”, it is on sale for 3.50 euros.

On a similar note, one company is offering “huggable urns”, conventional teddy bears that unzip at the back to reveal velvet pouches for cremated ashes.

The bears, described by the website as the “Paddingtonization of death,” are stitched with the words “hold me” and will set you back from an American website at $99.95, or $149.95 if you want one with angel wings.

For those who flag during lengthy church services, there is the Hip Flask Bible, which allows worshipers to refresh themselves while pretending to study the psalms.

The traditionally bound book opens to reveal a 4oz stainless steel hip flask hidden inside its pages, and is available for just £15.

Even racier are the “thongs of praise” items of skimpy underwear featuring a picture of the Madonna and child on the front, priced at $12.99 a pair.

Those looking for something more restrained might try Christ on a Bike, a figurine of Jesus astride a powerful chopper motorbike, a crown of thorns on his head and robes flowing out behind him?

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As the Ship of Fools website comments: “Riding into town on a donkey was all very well in the days of sandals and wearing tea towels on your head.

“But today the Messiah who wants to make an impression needs something a bit more.”

The model, yours for just $30, is one of a series depicting Jesus involved in various contemporary pursuits, from skateboarding to surfing and from football to rodeo.

For those of more Catholic tastes, there is Pope’s Cologne, which claims to be based on formula favoured by Pius IX.

The web site comments: “With notes of violet and citrus, the 150-year-old Vatican toilet water will make a truly fragrant offering for the holy father in your life.”

Those with loftier ambitions might enjoy the Vatican’s answer to Monopoly, a board game in which the winner is elected the pontiff.

Up to six “cardinals” play the game, rolling the dice in the quest to become papabile, and encountering all the usual Catholic preoccupations on the way, from theological censorship and Latin liturgical texts to beatification politics and visions of long-dead saints.

Failing that, how about “holy toast” for breakfast? All you need is a special stamp that makes an imprint of the Virgin Mary on your bread before you put it in the toaster.

Or the Jerusalem Compass that always points the way to the city, so you can ensure your prayers are sent in the right direction.

On a more political note, the collection also includes a nativity scene carved by Palestinians that incorporates a representation of the 230-mile security fence that Israel has erected to deter terrorists, with the wise men trapped on the wrong side.

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Or shoppers could opt for the “Thongs of Praise.”

 

 

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