So many presents!

We’ve struggled over the years with how to allow gifts to be part of our Christmas celebrations without “getting presents” overshadowing the joy of Christ coming at Christmas. You’ll have to work through all of the convictions and practical pieces of that yourself, but we have found a thing or two that has helped to guide us.

Something you want/need/wear/read.

We heard this little mantra from a friend a few years ago and have roughly used it for the last few years to help guide our gift giving to our kids: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. It helps us limit our purchasing, but it also helps us to give our kids useful, purposeful things, not just lots of toys.

We love to give our kids toys, and we love the happiness that toys bring them. We like thinking about what they might really enjoy and shopping for it (even though that is often online now!). But there are lots of other occasions when they get toys, so we try to branch out into other things. We also give our kids at least one thing, if not more, that is specifically about Jesus. That is usually their “something to read.” (Not doing¬† a ton of “Original Old Navy” t-shirts. Sorry.)

Give Before They Get

One more thing we do at this time of year is to de-clutter the toys. It’s a great time to challenge them to unload some things because they will be getting more. It’s easy for them to make the connection. It’s also a good time to give some of their own things (especially the things that are in good shape) to someone else. It helps them learn to be generous with their stuff.

Gospel-Rich Gift Ideas

All that said, the main point here is to give you some good, gospel-centered gift ideas. So here’s a short list…

Playmobil Nativity Set¬†(The only toy on this list, but we’re not anti-toy!)

For Younger Kids

The Biggest Story Board Book
Found: Psalm 23 Board Book
Song of the Stars

For Middle Kids

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross
The Donkey Who Carried a King
The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

For Older Kids (or reading to younger kids)

The Ology
Exploring the Bible
The Radical Book for Kids (Nothing to do with David Platt’s book)
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

There are a lot more that could be included here. If you have some, repost or retweet this post with your additions.

Merry Christmas!