Looking for books that make great Christmas gifts? This carefully curated list has something for every member of the family and everyone else on your shopping list, plus a few you may want to add to your own list, too!
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50 Books That Make Great Christmas Gifts
FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season, Alexandra Kuykendall. Don’t put this one on your Christmas list. Buy it now so you can actually enjoy the season! My friend Alex wants to help you fall in love with Christmas again, no matter the circumstances surrounding the holidays for you and your family. You will love her honesty, her beautiful storytelling and her desire to reclaim Christmas for families.
If you follow our Wise Man’s Christmas Gift Plan with your family, all of the books below would be great options for the Myrrh gift (personal and spiritual development).
These books have been written by dear friends I respect and trust. I am reading or have read every book on this list and I can honestly say each one is life-changing in its own way. I won’t say much about them (though you can check my Instagram feed for some thoughts I’ve shared over the past few months) because I want each title to speak to you on its own.
Why Motherhood Matters: An Invitation to Purposeful Parenting, September McCarthy. From the book, “When we barely recognize who we’ve become, this is the perfect time to let God transform us.” I’ll just leave that right there.
Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground, Jess Connolly. Just received this book in the mail, hot off the press. Jess’s passion for God has made a huge impact on my life. She’s not playing games when it comes to her spiritual walk. Her view of holiness (something we often try to avoid talking about) is incredibly inspiring. She wants to take us deeper in our relationship with God and strengthen our sense of purpose in what he’s doing around the world.
Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right, Jeannie Cunnion. “I choose connection over control.” This! From the book’s manifesto sums up why I needed to read it. There are so many more nuggets like this in the book that will set you free!
Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, Lara Casey. This one is really speaking to me during this season. Lara has a beautiful way of inspiring women to become more without making them feel like they aren’t already enough.
Is Jesus Worth It?: Igniting Your Faith When You Feel like Quitting (The Girlfriends’ Guide to the Bible), Stacey Thacker. A study on the book of Hebrews. If you are looking for a Bible study companion, this is it. Stacey’s next book will be on Ephesians and I can’t wait!
Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time, Tricia Goyer. Tricia’s life speaks wisdom, experience and grace. This book is like having an experienced friend to walk with on your own adventure of faith.
Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom, Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart. This was on my book list earlier this year but I had to include it again. If you are (or know) a mom who desires to live a life of creativity, this book will be a treasured gift!
Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, Teri Lynne Underwood. Some friends and I started a book study on this one just last night. It’s already changing the way I look at my relationship with my girl and how I pray for her.
Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, Brooke McGlothlin. Don’t want to leave the boy moms out (especially since I have one of each)! I read through these prayers a few years ago and it’s time to revisit this great tool.
FOR YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE
She Is Yours: Trusting God As You Raise the Girl He Gave You, Jonathan and Wynter Pitts. Raising girls is not easy and raising four is just plain hard! I consider Wynter a friend and mentor because my daughter and I have been so blessed by the ministry of For Girls Like You. I’m excited to read this book along with my husband as we seek God about how to guide our 9 year old, Hope.
Create vs. Copy: Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination, Ken Wytsma. One of my favorite books, ever. It’s been on a few of my reading lists because it’s that good. A great gift idea for the creatives in your life and one you can read with your spouse to get creative at with your home and family culture, too!
Safe House: How Emotional Safety Is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well, Joshua Straub. This has been front and center on my mind lately as I try to navigate my children’s emotions in a healthy and balanced way. I was thrilled to receive this recommendation from a trusted friend and fellow mom in the trenches.
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy, Chris Bailey. This book came highly recommended by a friend whose minimalism is an inspiration to me. She read it with her husband and said they really enjoyed the fun stories and experiments the author shares as he explores how to be more productive in every area of life.
The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door, Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. I don’t know much about this book but I’ve seen it around this year and the title alone got me. I think this is a great book to read together with your spouse as you consider your place in your community.
The Apostle: A Life of Paul, John Pollack. I read this one on our recent trip to Rome because I wanted to connect with the history there as it related to my life as a believer. This is an incredible story-driven biography of the life of Paul. Pollack immerses you in Paul’s life while providing many life-applicable take aways.
Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality and The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives, Ravi Zacharias. My husband and I have been on quite a faith journey since leaving a church body a few years ago that decided to change its theology. This is a big trend in the church today that makes us want to dig our roots down deeper so we can teach our kids the truth about what we believe and help them stand on that truth, no matter what. Ravi Zacharias is a prolific voice in theology and apologetics. He’s giving us words and a voice for our faith.
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, Ian Cron. I was introduced to the Enneagram years ago but I’ve just begun to discover my type and what it means for my life. We’ve have been browsing this book and hope to really dig in over the next few months.
The Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You, Luis Bush. It is our goal to continually expand our family’s world view and this book by the strategist behind the missions concept of the 10/40 window is one tool I’ll be using in this season to do just that. I’m hopeful our family will be a part of God’s global story of transformation, even if we simply start right here, right where we are.
FOR THE MEN IN YOUR LIFE
I don’t think these books are exclusive to men but when I surveyed the men in my life, these are the titles that surfaced as good gift ideas for our dudes this Christmas. I’m not going to say much about these books because I haven’t read them. But take my guy friends’ word for it, these are good!
The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien. My dad says is it’s some of the best storytelling he’s ever read.
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline.
Joe Ledger Series, Jonathan Maberry.
Play the Man, Mark Batterson.
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, Meg Meeker, MD. I actually have read parts of this one and I think it’s a must read for girl dads.
The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, Matthew B Crawford.
Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom, Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey.
If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, Eric Metaxas. In light of the state of America right now, this sounds like a really great read. My father-in-law thinks so!
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman.
FICTION FOR HER
Her Memory of Music, Katherine Jones. A beautiful novel by my dear friend. I love the way she weaves social justice into her stories so that the reader is moved and challenged while enjoying a good story.
Beartown, Fredrick Backman. Really, you can pick up any of Backman’s novels and find yourself lost in a delightful read that is quirky and funny and profound.
The Masterpiece, Francine Rivers. You had me at the cover! I love Francine Rivers and cannot wait for this new book. It doesn’t come out until next year but you can pre-order it for yourself or as a gift!
The Austen Escape and A Portrait of Emily Price, Katherine Reay. I’ve read all of Katherine Reay’s books and cannot wait for her next novel, The Austen Escape. I recently read A Portrait of Emily Price (which is partly set in Italy) while visiting the beautiful country. Her descriptions of the food and settings were perfect! Reay’s books are lighthearted and fun. The perfect escape for readers who need to take a break from the craziness of life.
FOR THE KIDS (though you may like them, too!)
Middle Grade Fiction
Echo, Pam Munoz Ryan. My kids aren’t ready for this one yet but I read it last month and loved it! Such a mesmerizing story that follows three kids so very different but all connected by one special thing.
The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery. Anything by the creator of Anne Shirley is going to catch my eye. I hope to read this one with my girl someday. It’s a love story so she’s probably not ready for it yet but that won’t keep me from adding it to my book list!
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, M.J. Thomas. Anytime faith-building is incorporated into imaginative reading for my kids, it’s a win in my book! I am so excited about this new series for kids that is centered around Bible stories. It’s considered a chapter book for emerging readers but I think advanced 1st and 2nd grade readers up to more reluctant 4th grade readers would love this series.
Day Dreams and Movie Screens, Alena Pitts. We love these fun stories about a girl who is reaching for the stars while trying to stay balanced in life and faith. Written by a peer, girls will really connect with the Lena in the Spotlight series. Day Dreams and Movie Screens in book 2 in the series. Check out Hello Stars (book 1) and coming next year, Shining Night.
Early Reader Series
Mighty Robot, Dav Pilkey and Dan Santat. My 1st grader blew through this early reader chapter book series because it’s simple and fun! He loves that it has “chapters” but is heavily illustrated with bright images and colors. There are nine books in the series and my boy has read through them 3 times. A perfect gift for the emergent reader on your Christmas list!
Mercy Watson, Kate DiCamillo. Similar to Might Robots, my boy devoured this cute series about a pig named Mercy who goes on all sorts of adventures. There are 6 books in this series. Another great one for kids age 4-7.
EJ12. This chapter book series is one of the few my girl has really gotten into! The exciting stories and short length of the books make them perfect for reluctant readers (or advanced early readers).
Billie B Brown. This early reader chapter book series is marketed to girls but my boy has brought one home in his 1st grade book bag and loved it. There are 15 books in this simple series that offers short chapters, large print and fun stories!
Hey Jack! Billie B Brown has a best friend and his name is Jack. Jack has his own set of adventures in this series geared towards boys but again, it definitely crosses over so all kids can enjoy the fun. My 1st grader devoured the first 6 books in this series. I have more on order now!
I’m Not a Scaredy-Cat: A Prayer for When You Wish You Were Brave, Max Lucado. Follow a silly series of misadventures as scaredy-cat faces his worst fears: an appalling abundance of (gulp!) yellow and pink sprinkles on his donut, an elephant on the verge of a ginormous sneeze, and the terrifyingly loud chime of a clock. For each of the fears, Max provides this reassuring child’s version of Philippians 4:6–9: “God, you are good. God, you are near. God, you are here! And, God, you love me.” A fun read for children and parents, I’m Not a Scaredy-Cat will open doors for important conversations about fear in a nonthreatening way and help you instill godly bravery in your kids.
Lizzy the Lioness, Lisa Bevere. Your kids will love the story of Lizzy, a little lion who must learn what it truly means to be brave in the face of hard things. When she sees someone in danger, Lizzy tries her best to help, but she quickly learns that sometimes being brave means asking adults for help.
Big and Little Coloring Devotional, Rachel Swanson and Jacy Corral. This brilliant book by my friend Rachel Swanson is amazing. What a great idea to have a coloring page on either side – one for the adult and one for the child – with a simple devotion to spark faith-building conversation?! You know that’s right up my alley! This book makes the perfect Christmas gift or family Advent activity!
365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids: An If I Could Ask God Anything Devotional – We LOVE If I Could Ask God Anything so I’m thrilled about this new devotional format of the book! This book is a tremendous tool for every Christian home! Through a daily devotional, questions about God, the Bible, and faith are answered in a loving way that points children to God’s plan and His love. Parents will appreciate the thorough research and accuracy for this wide range of theological, historical, and faith topics. In addition to faith topics, this devotional addresses topics such as Christian traditions, the historic growth of Christianity, how to become a Christian, and what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. A helpful and complete index of questions includes the following topics: time; God; God’s promises; Jesus; God’s Holy Spirit; the Bible; the Old Testament; the New Testament; Christianity; prayer; the Church; Christian seasons, holidays, and traditions; being a Christian here and now; and eternity.
The NIV Color Code Bible. I love this Bible, for adults and kids! More than 3,000 passages are color-coded on important faith themes. Topics are arranged by color so kids can learn about salvation and how to put God’s word into your daily faith walk. The topics/colors are:
Gold: God Navy: Sin, evil Red: Jesus Orange: washed clean from sin, new life Green: growth in your new life as a Christian and Faith Walk Blue: Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving Purple: Heaven Brown: Animals Teal: Family Tangerine: Love Full of bright colors, memorization aids, and the never-ending truth of God’s Good News, the Color Code Bible is an exciting new way to study God’s Word.
Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science, Louie Giglio. This devotional is a fantastic way to connect the dots for your kids between God and science. It’s beautiful, inspiring and written by one of the most prolific voices of our time.
For more ideas on books that make great gifts for your kids (including lots of activity book options) check out our Big List of Best Kids Books post. And if you’re looking for more faith-building gift ideas for your kids or family, check out our Ultimate List of Family Faith Tools.
What books are on YOUR Christmas wish list and shopping list this year?
BLOOMTOWN FAITH – our family devotion Podcast is here! Join us December 1-24 for 5 minute, audio Advent devotionals you can listen to on the go!
Looking for SIMPLE ways to enjoy the season with family traditions that won’t bring overwhelm?
- Lead your family through a Bible ADVENTure from Genesis to Jesus’ birth with this simple Advent Bible Reading Plan.
- Follow hashtag #gatherforadvent on Facebook and/or Instagram where I’ll post the daily reading and a conversation question so you can continue your journey – anytime, anywhere!
- Listen to BLOOMTOWN, our brand new Podcast with a corresponding, 5 minute audio devotion you can listen to on the go!
- Grab our adorable Advent Story Cards, created in partnership with Color + Kindness, to give your kids a meaningful, hands on experience as you countdown to Christmas.