Earlier, I wrote a post about What Your Rector Wants For Christmas. I love Rectors and have the good fortune to spend time with, teach, coach, and encourage lots of Rectors around the Anglican Church in North America.
But I don’t just love Rectors. I also love their families! The role of a Rector is unique. So is the role of the Rector’s family. This is especially true if they are married. The Rector’s Spouse needs your love and support.
When laypeople are looking for gifts for their Rectors, I hope they don’t forget about the Rector’s Spouse! There is some overlap, as you might imagine since some might want to get a gift for the couple or the family.
Before I give you some great ideas, let me gently point out something they don’t need.
Your Rector’s Spouse doesn’t need something specific to that unique identity.
They are well aware of this special calling, but I would recommend something more personal for a Christmas gift.
With that being said, here are some great gift ideas for your Rector’s Spouse:
1. Gift Cards
Like my recommendations for Rectors, their spouses will love gift cards! They are always helpful, practical, and allow the Rector’s spouse to pick out something for themselves that they might not otherwise purchase.
The best gift cards / certificates fall into a few different categories. They might be for a treat or a nice meal out. Maybe it is an experience for the Rector and their Spouse as a couple or with their family. This could be a gift card to the movies, a spa, or even a membership.
For example, in Dallas, we have an incredible museum – the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. You could get them a gift certificate that they could use for a family membership. If they have a family membership, then they could use the funds for snacks and gifts at the museum.
2. Hobbies / Experiences
Most parishioners know more about the hobbies and interests of their Rector’s Spouse than I do. Maybe they are into music. Maybe they are into art.
For example, you could sign them up for a pottery class or a couples’ cooking class. Anything you can do to help them pursue a hobby or create a memory through a special experience will always be appreciated!
One thing to avoid is things that are overly personal. Many items like jewelry, clothing, cosmetics, etc. have an element of personal preference. It is better to let people pick these out for themselves. However, something personal around their hobby or interests will show that you care and are paying attention to what makes them happy.
I asked one young Rector friend what his wife would want if his parishioners were to get her a gift. He was surprised by her answer!
She said that she loves handmade gifts. Over the years she has received gifts as a teacher and a pastor’s wife. For her, the best gifts are those that are made by hand with love. That could be a special piece of art, something crocheted, or even tasty food.
By the way, her other favorite kinds of gifts were treats—coffee, jellies, snacks, chocolates—things she could enjoy as a treat over time!
Just like your Rector, your Rector’s spouse would love a few days to get away at a nice place of THEIR choosing.
One fun way to facilitate this might be to get them a special kind of gift card like the Hilton Gift Card. They could use it to book a few days away. It probably won’t be a weekend away, since the Rector works on Sundays, but they could use it for a few days during the week to get away and spend time together!
Rector’s Spouses usually join the Rector in providing for members of their church or exercising hospitality. The amount of involvement will vary from Spouse to Spouse depending on their own gifts. Each congregation should allow the Rector’s Spouse freedom to define this role based on his or her own calling. But leading a congregation is always a family endeavor. Giving your Rector and their Spouse a few days away will be a blessing to them.
Most parishioners have a special relationship with their Rector. If the Rector is married, then this extends to their Spouse (and their kids, if they have them). They will want to express their love and gratitude during Christmas through a gift.
These are just a few ideas of what Rector’s Spouses really want for Christmas. Get creative and be generous! Don’t forget this incredibly important partner in the work of leading your congregation!
Canon David has over 35 years of local congregational ministry, diocesan and national involvement, leadership, and ministry experience and is the founder of Leaderworks. He was the founding Rector/Pastor, Christ Church, Plano and currently serves as the Strategic Leader and Dean, Diocese of C4SO.