The One Meaningful book gift tradition is the gift that keeps on giving!
This “One Meaningful Book Gift Tradition” all got started when I gave our 3 year old the book, “I Love You This Much” by Sam McBratney. It was a board book and it has taken a beaten but I love seeing it on our shelf and the little note I wrote for my 3 year old.
For many years we did the open 1 book (not for each child but just 1 book) each day leading to Christmas Day. They would take turns opening up a book each day. Then on December 24th I would give them ONE special book that I picked out and wrote a note inside for them.
Some years we did 25 books other times we did 12 or 6 days of opening books leading to Christmas Day. It was actually a cute idea and I wrote about it here in our 25 Christmas Books Countdown. This never really got too expensive because I used a mix of library books and yard sales books. We would return the library books back and we didn’t end up with too many books.
This tradition worked great when they were little because it helped with the long awaited build-up of Christmas Day gifts and we love reading books together. But there was a point when it got too overwhelming for me.
That’s how our “one meaningful book tradition” got started.
It’s Not Just Any Old Book That is Given
I find one book for each child with the hopes to encourage them in whatever stage of life they are in whether it’s in their faith, our values, their struggles, dreams and character traits I see in them. Then I write them a heartfelt note inside it. They get to open it up on Christmas Eve.
Some years I have gone with the same theme for all three of my boys like kindness or courage. But most of the time I choose whatever stands out to me about each child and their individual dreams and personality.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
You can’t imagine how many times I have found them throughout the year reading the note I’ve written to them. When they were little and couldn’t read they would always ask me to read the note I wrote to them before I read the book.
My hope is that they would be encouraged not just by the book but also by the personal note I’ve written to them for that stage of life they were in. Who knows maybe one day these books will be in their very own home library for their kids to read and they will also see the personal note I wrote to their daddy.
This book is separate from the one book they choose for Christmas from their 3 Gifts Wish List: Something to Read, Something They Want, Something to Give to Someone in Need.
Our Meaningful Books List
I have had several friends ask me for my recommendations so here’s the list of books I have purchased them or on my list to buy. (Feel free to click on the Title to get more information on the book. The links below are affiliate links)
- Found by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- I Love You This Much by Sam McBratney
- Brave Young Knight by Karen Kingsbury
- Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrea
- A Little Boy After God’s Own Heart by Jim George
- Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
- The Kid Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews
- One Hen by Katie Milway
- It will be okay by Lysa Teurkerst
- The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado
- Those Shoes by MariBeth Boelts
- You are Special by Max Lucado
- Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin
- Beatrice’s Goat by age Mcbrier
- Win or Lose I Love You by Lisa Teurkerst
- Ronnie Wilson’s Gift by Francis Chan
- Mama’s Panya’s Pancakes by Mary Chamberlin
- The Plans I Have For You by Amy parker
- One O’Clock Miracle by Alison Mitchell
- The Prince’s Poison Cup by RC Sproul
- The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by RC Sproul
- God is Really Good by Bill Johnson
- Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortber
- God’s Great Love for You by Rick Warren
- The Magnificent Thing by Ashley Sires
So we started this tradition at 3 years of age but you can start and end at whatever age works best for your family. You can decide to stop whenever your kids outgrow children’s books or continue giving them books to fit their age and personality. At this point my oldest still enjoys getting his one meaningful book gift so we continue with this tradition.
In our family I decided to just make this “meaningful book” tradition my thing and my husband gives them a tool every year. When they leave our home they will have a whole set of tools for themselves and special books that belong to them.