Top 7 Worst Christmas Gifts for Pastors or Clergy

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Top 7 worst Christmas gifts for pastors or clergy.

We usually enjoy taking the time to remember others at Christmas. Tops on the list for many people are gifts for the pastor. The pastor gives of himself (or herself) throughout the year. Often, needs and personal family time are set aside. As the wife of a pastor, I can say that pastors do this without open complaint because not only do they love to serve others but they are called to do just that.

Christmas gives us the perfect excuse to say thanks for all the effort. Pastors will receive most items appreciatively. Before we go dashing off to the nearest Christian bookstore there is something you need to know. There are gifts that your pastor may not need or want. These are best left at the store or given to someone else.

Before you spend your hard earned money be sure to check out the list below. It’s a list of the top worst gift ideas for pastors or clergy.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #1

The latest hot Christian Books

The latest hot Christian book titles are usually well done and inspirational. When it comes to gift giving it's not unusual for several people to have the same thought. Plus, the Pastor may already own a copy. Check with the pastor before giving the book or ask if there's something that he needs for his library. Failing that, it's hard to go wrong with a gift certificate to a Christian bookstore.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #2

Christian DVDs or CDs

Pastors tastes range from meditative chants, Southern Gospel, Contemporary or Christian rap or rock. The same problems exist with DVDs and CDs as with Christian books mentioned above. Ask about movie and music preferences before buying. Again, it's almost impossible to wrong with a gift card to Amazon or your local Christian bookstore.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #3

Framed artwork or prints.

Artwork is also not a good idea. Some parsonages have restrictions on the number of prints that a pastor’s family may have on the walls. Unless you are on the committee you may not know what the rules are so it’s best to pass on the artwork.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #4


Chances are, the pastor has tons of them and some pastors don’t wear them.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #5

Reference Items

Study materials, research books or religious instructional videos can be great gifts. The trick is to consult with the pastor before purchasing them.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #6

Anything that has to be fed.

This includes plants and fish. Anything other than the traditional Christmas poinsettia should be avoided. It may be calming to you to see an aquarium in the pastor’s office. It may stress him (or her) out to have to feed it and clean the tank. Plants may die from dust asphyxiation under a pastor’s care. It’s better to save the suffering of the innocent and give these items to someone with more time to take care of them.

Top Worst Gift Ideas for Pastor or Clergy Idea #7


As a general rule wine does not make a good gift for a pastor. While many pastors and priests do drink wine, other pastors won’t. Some pastors will consume it only for Holy Communion and not drink a drop of it otherwise. Instead, choose a sparkling juice with cheese and crackers or some other type of Christmas item.


Katherine Johnson
Posted on Mar 19, 2010
carol roach
Posted on Oct 24, 2009