Right now, many of us are in the throes of buying Christmas gifts for our loved ones. And I say “throes” advisedly. It’s become a cliché to say that Christmas has become too commercialized. And just reading the newspaper about the near riots on Black Friday over things like waffle irons and electronic games is enough to make me want to skip buying presents at all.
But, I’ve got to admit, I’ve always had a soft spot for the grandkids. When they were young, I didn’t want them thinking Grandpa was a Scrooge, but at the same time I didn’t want to spoil them, either. Once they were grown, we started giving them more meaningful gifts — like donations to Angel Tree in their names.
So, if your younger children or grandchildren or teenagers are expecting Christmas gifts from you, what are you going to do? Sure, the newest gadget or toy will titillate them for a while. It will also soak up otherwise valuable hours and, in most cases, leave them with little of lasting value.
Wouldn’t you rather give kids a gift that will reflect what you want them to become? Gifts that will shape their minds, their hearts, and their character?
That’s why I've always liked giving good books as Christmas gifts.
But when buying books for younger children and teens nowadays, adults can quickly run into some big problems. You may not even know what to look for — or what to avoid.
As I’ve said before, the Young Adult section of your local bookstore can be a pretty daunting place these days. Most people want their kids to read, but an increasing number of us are worried about the dark themes and messages and the generally inappropriate content that permeate so many teen books.
Well, I have good news for you. The book reviewers at our Youth Reads page here at BreakPoint.org, have produced a new list of “books to buy your kids for Christmas.”
If there’s a young person in your life aged anywhere from about 9 years to 18 years, you’re going to want to go to our website, BreakPoint.org, and take a look at our list. It’s full of books that our reviewers have read, enjoyed, and judged appropriate for young people.
There are plenty of books on this list to interest both boys and girls, and there’s something for those at different reading levels. There are lots of classics, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Screwtape Letters, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Oliver Twist.
And there are also several contemporary books and series as well. Some of the books are explicitly Christian, and some are not, but all of them are good books that will fortify your child’s mind and worldview while providing entertainment at the same time.
With a little knowledge of your kids’ tastes and what they are old enough to handle, you ought to have no trouble picking just the right gift from this list. And we’ve got links to help you buy them online, either from our own Colson Center Store or from Amazon. And there’s nothing wrong with going out and supporting your local bookstore, either, that’s a good idea!
When you find the right book — a book that may even end up changing a kid’s life — it’s more than worth the effort. Which is why we’re here to help. So go today to BreakPoint.org and click on the Youth Reads Christmas book list.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: December 13, 2011