In the past 13 years of celebrating Christmas with children I have tried many traditions but the One Meaningful book gift tradition has stuck.
Sometimes I would try one thing and it worked great one year and then the next we would tweak it. Other years we’ve completely dropped it because it didn’t work or our kids were out of that phase and stage of life.
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.
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 them not dive into Christmas Day presents like gift-starved children. It helped with their longing to open up a present and I also got to give them some of our favorite books that I collected at yard sales or other book sales.
On the 24th I would give them one special book that I picked out and wrote a note to them.
One Meaningful Book Gift Tradition
Well as they have gotten older I decided to drop the book a day tradition though they still ask me about opening up a book each day.
But I kept the meaningful book tradition. I find one book that will encourage them as young men, in their faith, our values and their struggles.
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.
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.
My hope is that they would be encouraged not just by the book but also by the personal note. Who knows maybe one day these books will be in their 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. The list below are books that I have bought them and some are ones on my list to buy them. This is a Christmas gift tradition but I have also done it for them on their Birthday and special milestones.
Our Meaningful Books List
Right now you can use the code BOOKGIFT17 at checkout.The offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) December 14, 2017 and only applies to products sold by Amazon.com (look for “sold by Amazon.com” on the product detail page). Limit of one code per account. You can purchase as many books you want as long as the total is more than $15 you can use the code BOOKGIFT17. (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
When they were younger I bought them board books. Actually, this all got started when I gave our 3 year old the book, I Love You This Much by Sam McBratney. So we started at 3 years of age but you can start and end at whatever age works best for your family. You can do this with your spouse together but in our family I decided to just make it my thing and my husband gives them a tool.
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.