The ARCH-HIVE Holiday Gift Guide 2020
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
You know your weird peculiar Mormon friend, that you’re never quite sure what to get for Christmas? Well, this year, look no further than The ARCH-HIVE Holiday Gift Guide! A brief snapshot of some of my personal favorites in the weird Mormon wilderness! And please share your recommendations in the comments.
Books are a classic Christmas gift and always appreciated (at least, I always appreciate more books). Here are a handful of my favorite books that were either released this year or I encountered this year for the first time.
One of my favorite books that I read all year. Matt Page offers a tender, inventive, provocative, warm-hearted, and fun look at what Mormonism could be in a galaxy far away, inspired by 80s cartoons, the cosmic elements of Mormon thought, and the sort of creative fusion that only Matt can bring about. A beautifully illustrated book well worth poring over again and again.
A Book of Lamentations, $15.99
James Goldberg is one of Mormonism’s greatest living writers, in my own estimation. He has two new books out this year. A Book of Lamentations (with Nicole Wilkes Goldberg, Sarah Dunster, Madison Beckstrand, and Selina Forsyth), which is a book to suit our age. The other is Song of Names: A Mormon Mosaic $15.99 (with Ardis Parshall, Scott Hales, Merrijane Rice, and Carla Jimison), which is a delightful look at everyday and extraordinary Mormons around the globe.
Monsters & Mormons: Thirty Tales of Adventure and Terror, $4.99 (ebook)
Everything from Peculiar Pages is likely worth your time, but the 30 tales here are a particular delight--jello monsters, mission stories, the reason you shouldn’t open your eyes during the prayer, and so much more.
All Made of Hinges, $14.99
There are four volumes in this series (I’ve read the first and part of the second volume), beginning with All Made of Hinges, $14.99. The collection opens with a Brigham Young automaton and is exactly the sort of wonderfully pulpy imaginative adventures you want from some Mormon steampunk tales.
I’ve been a fan of BCC Press since they started in 2017 and Third Wheel is one of my favorite things they've published. Mel tells deeply human, provocative, hilarious, moving stories about women of faith that I want everyone to read. I love everything else I’ve read that they’ve published (especially Vampires in the Temple, $13.49, I Gave Her a Name, $12.95 and The Tragedy of King Leere the Goatherd of the La Sals, $6.95 (currently on sale, regularly $12.95) and am particularly excited about some of their new work I haven't gotten around to yet: Reapproaching Zion, $12.95, Bountiful, $9.95, and A Craving for Beauty: The Collected Writings of Maurine Whipple, $15.95.
Everything I've read by Sam Brown is wonderful and this promises to be too (I'm planning to pick it up during OUP's annual holiday sale in late-Dec./early Jan.).
Some other great more academic titles I've read this year include: Tabernacles of Clay: Sexuality and Gender in Modern Mormonism, $29.95; Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier, $28.95; and Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism, $29.
Full-disclosure, I'm one of the contributing artists to this particular zine, but I still think it's perfect for friends that love the promise of Mormonism and Joseph's vision, but want some new, outsider artist perspectives on it.
Also recommend HIVE ZINE 010 -- Scary Stories to Tell in the Foyer, $7, which is great for those of you looking for some Mormon-inspired Christmas ghost stories to share this season.
As an art collective, it would be a huge oversight if we didn't recommend some Mormon art for you to purchase, from local artists! Full disclosure: many of the artists included here are personal friends, but they all have excellent art for you to purchase!
A beautiful print inspired by the red rocks of southern Utah. All sales of this and the Desert Mesa at Sunset (Digital Download), $8.50.
in the month of December will be donated to Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
I LOVE Matt's postcards. I have a collection framed for display in my office, but I might need to get another set to send to friends and family (Matt recommends them for missionaries looking for a little light-hearted, deeply Mormon humor).
A wild, gorgeous cross stitch of the Sunstone from the Nauvoo temple.
Alternatively for your more crafty friends, check out the Deseret Sampler: A Digital Pattern for Counted Cross Stitch, $8.
These gorgeous prints by Haley are perfect for a low-cost stocking stuffer or to display on your desk or bookcase. Colorful, evocative, and spiritual.
I stumbled on this print from RGDDesign looking for things to include here and am very into it. Gotta love some good ol' beehive industry mixed with that mechanical steampunk energy.
No doubt you've wanted some way to signal your particular brand of peculiar Mormonism to the world, or just have some nice looking clothing and accoutrements. Here's a few things for those folks in your life looking to be finely dressed.
You know you want this folk magic-vibin' pin to wear on your lapel for everyone to see. At least, I do.
I adore this shirt. Beautiful design, comfortable, and peculiar. Still waiting for someone to recognize what it's all about. I also have the Anti Nephi Lehi Club, $20; and the Smith/Rigdon '44, $20, tees on my wishlist this year, so if you're looking for something to get me...
Some more Deseret but in a different vein than the Ziff Chariot shirt up above. For those looking for some chill, radical Mormon vibes.
If you want some jewelry, Mineral & Matter has a bunch of great options. This Solis Necklace is one, but I also recommend: Jaxkelly Sun and Moon, $34; Sun Necklace, $44; and the Triplet Horizon Ring, $32
For anyone on your list that cries in the wilderness, perhaps wearing camel-hair and eating locusts, check out this excellent t-shirt.
Alternatively, the National Parks of Utah Long Sleeve Tee, $46, for folks that don't want to choose one particular park to represent.
There were a bunch of other wonderful gifts that didn't fit neatly into any of the above categories, so here they are!
Plaster this groovy sticker all over your water bottle, laptop, folder, and everywhere else stickers belong.
Emily Brown is a musical gift. This album is wonderful and human and mournful and ache. Great for meditation and contemplation and sitting with your feelings. I particularly love "Baby Wanting", but the whole album is lovely.
(Individual candles available for $15)
I bought these candles from Matt at Sunstone a few years ago and have proudly displayed them on my bookcase ever since. My wife and I use them as part of our Advent celebration every Christmas-season. Highly recommend.
If patches are more your scene than t-shirts, this Zion Sun Patch may be just for you. Great for your jeans, a denim jacket, or your backpack.
If you want a gift that keeps on giving, may I recommend subscribing to Laz's Patreon? There are 3 levels--$1, $5, and $10 a month. Choose the tier that works for you (the $5 tier comes with a sticker every month and so far they have all been FANTASTIC).
When a derecho blew through Iowa earlier this year, my wife and I used one of these to make-up for our power being out. We've also used it as a makeshift lamp for reading to our daughter. Great for uses around the house, emergencies big and small, and folks that just like to be prepared for whatever life has in store.
Some people are into micro-brewing, but we Mormons drink no liquor (and they eat but a very little meat), so here's a root beer science kit.
The ARCH-HIVE presents a collaborative 20-piece paper Nativity, featuring a wide-range of artistic styles, and the opportunity for you to collaborate with us by making the Star! (Full-disclosure: I am one of the contributing artists. The full line-up is: Annie Poon, Rachel Helps, Tod Robbins, Mme. Hoarse d-Ivorce, Jon Brown, gnome chompsky, Ash Rowan, Camilla Stark, Tracie Eckersley, Daenen Rolapp, Mattathias, Michael Sorensen, Hayley Labrum Morrison, Trevor Harmon, Kasen Christensen, Conor Hilton, Rusden Scott, Madison Daniels, & Laz.)
If you haven't got your fill of Mormon gifts, peruse the Textures of Mormonism Gift Guide Thread for more ideas. And we believe that God (perhaps through you!) will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the best Mormon gifts, so if you find yourself privy to such revelation, please share!