Here I am again with some ideas for Christmas presents! These seem to be quite popular posts so if you’d like to read last year’s, it’s here. Or you can click on the category ‘Tips’ and should find them there. As usual, there are no affiliated links here.
Last year I got my children:
- Something to wear (Harry Potter PJs)
- Something to read (a book…)
- Something to play (a pack of cards from Theory11. They make really intricate and fun playing cards with different themes. I got Star Wars ones for various family members last year. I’ve just realised they’ve since made a Harry Potter set… so tempted!)
- Something they need (eg. ballet shoes/ dressing gown etc.)
I know it’s usually ‘Something they want’ but I changed it for ‘Something to play,’ partly because I discourage them ‘wanting’ things in favour of contentment, and partly because I’d bought the Theory11 cards!
For an adult I recommend the Tim Chester book ‘Into His Presence: Praying with the Puritans.’ It’s a really pretty hardback book containing Puritan prayers, edited for a modern audience and put into helpful categories. It would be perfect for anyone wanting a bit of help with their prayer time (who doesn’t?).
For children, I’ve told you before about Seek & Find in my interview with the author, Sarah Parker, and this year they’ve made a Christmas version (Seek and Find, The First Christmas). It’s fabulous! Beautiful pictures – fantastic use of colour and imagination. Anyone who portrays Gabriel as a black man in gold armour gets a big thumbs up from us! I recommend it for under 7s. You can read my review and find out more about it here.
This year I read my favourite Christian book of the past few years at least: Nick Tucker’s 12 Things God Can’t Do. You can read my review of it here. I’ve already bought it for my sister-in-law’s birthday and would gladly buy it again for a teen or adult whom I love.
Something different: If you’re looking for a good story for someone aged 10+, I highly recommend Judith Kerr’s autobiographical books, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Bombs on Aunt Dainty which I read this year. Granted, they’re about 50 years old so not exactly hot off the press. They’re both told in a gentle style* and would be a sensitive way to teach young people about the Holocaust. In Bombs on Aunt Dainty, Anna is living through the Blitz and it’s the most detailed account I’ve ever read of that. It felt very topical to read this year since she writes from a refugee’s perspective, and we were welcoming Ukranian refugees into the UK. I’m looking forward to reading the third in the trilogy, A Small Person Far Away, but can’t recommend that as I’m yet to start it. (*Although there is one short but very sad description of a professor being treated appallingly in a concentration camp.)
If you’re looking for a gift to help with hospitality, I recommend Dobble. I’ve probably recommended it before but it’s surely worth reiterating. Dobble takes about 20 seconds to explain to a guest, and they can get playing straight away. I love hearing shouts of, ‘Elephant!’ ‘Crocodile… argh!’ while I make last minute dinner preparations and my children entertain the visitors.. Kids love it and there are several versions. We’ve got three. Dobble Kids is the one I’d start with.
So Bomb bath bomb making kits – These are surprisingly good! Somebody kindly bought my 6 year old daughter a set and they’ve provided much fun and excitement. The best thing about them for me is that they soon disappear once they have a bath with them! I don’t need more stuff in my flat.
Discover the World Game. This is a fantastic board game. It’s simple enough that it’s easy to understand what to do, and it teaches children where places are in the world. Thank you to my mother-in-law who gave it to my children last Christmas. My 6 year old loves it the most but it’s probably great for 5-13 year olds I’d say.
If money is tight this year, remember you can give homemade gifts that people will love. Sometimes the smallest and most thoughtful gifts can be the most precious. Also, remember you don’t have to buy brand new things for people. Second hand is called vintage or preloved nowadays and is totally acceptable!
Last year we made baking jars for some families we know. Once we’d worked out what to put in them it was quick and easy to make them and they looked lovely. They also provide a welcome activity for little ones in the days after Christmas when it’s raining and they’ve already watched too much TV. Then they get eaten, so again you’re not cluttering up somebody’s house! It’s win-win if you ask me. You can find examples of these on Pinterest. Amazingly I don’t seem to have taken any pictures of ours last year. What was I thinking?