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Believe it or not, the Christmas season is upon us. It is time to make our lists and check them twice. In recent years, my family has toned down the gift giving, attempting to focus instead on practical gifts or fun experiences.
I had wonderful intentions of doing a series of blog posts called “The 12 Days of Christmas” with some of my favorite gift ideas that would encourage and inspire the recipient. But life happened… So, instead, I am doing one post with 12 gift-giving ideas.
This list contains some of my favorite things – both to give and to receive!
- An advent candle is a sweet holiday tradition, especially if you have kids. Count down to Christmas Day by burning a little section of candle each day.
- During my time with the Lord each morning, I like to read an excerpt from a short devotional. On This Day is one of my favorites. I learn so much about Christian history – from the good and the bad! You know the saying… Whoever doesn’t learn from the past is doomed to repeat it.
- Another part of my morning quiet time is a daily Bible. I love reading an Old Testament and New Testament passage each day as well as a passage from one of the books of wisdom. If I miss a day, I don’t sweat it. I’ll get it next year! This is a life habit I’m developing here. (Another option is a daily chronological Bible.)
- For the kids on your list, why not start teaching them good Bible study habits early? I mean really, there’s no greater gift than learning to study the Bible for yourself as early as possible. Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt’s latest book Who Created It? is geared for children who are not yet proficient readers. Of course, their other Discover4Yourself books are exceptional, too, but they are geared for children who read well.
- If someone on your list desires to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way, then Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur is what you’re looking for. It is a study on the names of God and will rock their world.
- Speaking of rocking worlds, The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken is the book that will do it. Let’s face it, most American Christians need to have our worlds rocked. It isn’t always easy to read, but I believe it is required reading for every disciple of Christ.
- The New Inductive Study Bible is like having 66 Bible study workbooks in one volume. (It is also available in ESV.) At the beginning of each book, there are instructions on how to do an overview of that book. At the end of each chapter is an At a Glance chart that, once filled out, becomes a valuable reference tool. It’s the only Bible I recommend. If you’d like a free class on how to study your Bible, listen here.
- If you know anything at all about me, you know that I believe in studying the Bible for yourself. In my opinion, the best way to do that is through inductive Bible study (IBS). A valuable tool of IBS is marking key words in the text. My favorite tools for this are Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens and Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils. Of course, you need a case to keep them in, and this one will do the job nicely. I also love this one that stands.
- I love beautiful writing instruments, and these handmade pens would make a special and memorable gift. They are lovely and functional. Bonus: they’re made by my nephew!
- I received a prayer journal last Christmas, and it has become my go-to gift for just about any occasion. This prayer journal plus this sermon notes journal and this Bible study journal would make a wonderful gift for a woman of any age on your list. They are pretty and practical, and you can get all three for under $20!
- I have quite a collection of nativities that I enjoy displaying this time of year. I have always had some that I display within reach for my granddaughter to play with. I love when I find Barbies nestled among the sheep, camels, and baby Jesus. This nativity from Melissa and Doug is beautiful enough to display but sturdy enough for little hands to handle. Use it to start teaching the story of the birth of Christ at a young age.
- As a teenager, I used to love how my pastor closed each Sunday morning service. He would raise his right hand and pray the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:22-27) over the congregation. This digital download is an original design of this much-loved passage of Scripture and is only $5. Send it to your favorite photo place (such as Walgreen’s or CVS), have it printed on matte photo paper, and put it into a frame. It’s a great gift for just about anyone on your list for around $15 total. Can’t beat that.
I hope these suggestions will help you find gifts for your loved ones that will delight and inspire. Merry Christmas!