"Big Four" Highlights


 

Faithful Fashion

A fun gift for children with an always fashionable message

By Jason Godin
Associate Editor, Fathers for Good

What do your children want for Christmas? The answer will vary, of course, according to their ages. With younger kids you just need to ask; if you forget, they’ll be sure to tell you, sometimes with a “Sally-long” letter to Santa (as in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”). With adolescents, however, your attempt at a dialogue may turn into an adventure in monologue, or you may come away with a short list consisting of the strange gift “whatever.”

You may be tempted to get your teen a T-shirt with the word “whatever,” but you can also put the T-shirt idea to better use. Before thinking that kids never want clothing (Socks! Underwear!), consider this: when done tastefully, truthfully and with a specific target audience in mind, T-shirts tap into the latest fashion trends, say a lot with little or no words, are age-appropriate and come in a variety of colors and sizes for an affordable price. If you look in the right places, they can even allow your offspring to wear the faith you’re trying to teach them with style and without you or them appearing like a zealot.

With Catholicism as their theme, here’s a short list of some T-shirts available online that employ the most efficient and effective methods of comedy:

Pop Culture References

  • “Breaking Bread,” a play-on-words from the popular television series “Breaking Bad”
  • “Keep Calm and Go to Adoration” (other phrases include “Pray Your Rosary,” “Follow Jesus,” and “Carry Your Cross”)
  • The word “iBelieve” embedded inside what looks like an iPhone app icon
  • “Catholicism” written in the Coca-Cola style
  • “Hisway” displayed like the Subway restaurant logo

One-liners

  • “Protons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.”
  • “Catholics Wanted: It’s a Tough Job. But the Retirement Plan is Unbelievable.”
  • “Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”
  • “My lifeguard walks on water.”
  • “My boss is a carpenter.”
  • “When temptation knocks, let Jesus get the door …”
  • “Seven days without prayer … makes one weak.”
  • “What happens in the conclave stays in the conclave.”
  • “Jesus follows me on Twitter.”
  • “Eucharist: the original soul food.”
  • “My other shirt is the proper liturgical color.”
  • The phrase “Body piercing saved my life” beneath a picture of one of Christ’s crucified hands.
  • For babies: “When God made me He was just showing off,” “Cradle Catholic” and “I’m telling my Godmother.”

Just paste the sayings you like into your internet search engine and see what t-shirt companies offer them online.

Recently Olympia Media Group, a popular college content and marketing company that specializes in producing “niche content,” published a study on young adult shopping plans at the start of the 2014 holiday season. It found that 33% of millennials planned to spend more this year than in years past, particularly on Cyber Monday. It also revealed that among the young buyers who get an opportunity to buy for themselves, 71% planned to spend on fashion. For a demographic that accounted for $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending in 2013, clothing appears to account for a chunk of change worth keeping in mind.

Take this trend to heart as Christmas gets closer. We all know the negative image of someone who wears his faith on his sleeve. Yet these T-shirts deliver a faith message with a humorous touch that can get even atheists smiling, and thinking. Your teens will also benefit as they look good, feel cool, and draw closer to God in faithful fashion.