It’s that time of year in the church when we ponder the birth of Jesus and think lofty thoughts about God’s immanence and transcendence, and then we wake from our reverie only to realize that we have yet to buy those Christmas presents that our little ones are so eagerly expecting.
As I considered the many, many (did I say “many”?) options out there in the toy departments, online, advertised on television, radio and newsprint aimed at parting a well-meaning aunt from her money, the Christian educator in me stopped short. If I’m going to give these children gifts, shouldn’t they have some educational element to them? Of course, you can’t just say: “Darling one, here is an educational gift for you about our faith, enjoy.” Those are the gifts that you find behind the sofa at the end of Christmas morning, right? So what’s an aunt, uncle, parent, or grandparent to do?
Thankfully, my little ones – who are actually my nieces and nephew – are at that wonderful age when the simple act of reading is joyful. Then in the midst of muddling through all the possibilities, I realized that I had a wonderful resource right at my fingertips! Why not go to the Children’s Literature: A Resource for Ministry webpage and see what books have been reviewed for children their age? “Brilliant!” I thought to myself. I can find books that will interest them, order them online or buy them at my local bookstore, give them to the children and download the Faith Reviews for their parents. Christmas present dilemma solved! Not only will my nieces and nephew be receiving quality literature, I will know that it is age appropriate, will have ties to Biblical lessons that their parents or I can easily apply, and we will all learn something about our faith in the process.
There are books for all ages already reviewed with everything you need to help guide you in the decision making process. I hope you will consider the wonderful possibilities of this resource and perhaps, just perhaps, it can help you with some of your Christmas shopping this year, too!
Nadine Ellsworth-Moran, MDiv/MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2004
Christmas Gift Dilemma by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.