This Christmas, don’t settle for socks and jocks. We’ve got a gift guide that will help you shop for all your loved ones, while also blessing people in need, pointing to the gospel of Jesus and doing something good for the planet.
There are gifts here to suit a range of budgets, so check it out and get shopping today:
Something to bless those in need
Christmas gift cards and catalogues which provide needed items to people in poverty or distress are always popular among Christians, and this year, like always, there are plenty to choose from.
Our top picks for 2021 are:
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- Opportunity International Gifts of Opportunity – choose from humorously named gifts like ‘Quack a Smile’ (ducklings for people in poverty to raise and then use their eggs to sell) and ‘Sight for Saw Eyes’ (carpentry tools and supplies to give a person a source of income).
- Open Doors Gifts of Hope – support persecuted Christians by choosing from gifts like Bibles, youth ministry, and a survival pack for Christians in North Korea.
- Compassion Gifts of Compassion – there are dozens of gifts to choose from here, including gifts all the way up to $12,000. If you’ve got that much money to spend this Christmas, you could open a new Compassion centre, or give clean water to an entire community!
- Baptist World Aid Big Hearted Gifts – the Baptist World Aid cards are beautifully designed, and you can bundle gifts to provide more holistic help. We particularly love the ‘Disease Fighter Value Pack’ ($65) which provides clean water, blankets, and hygiene supplies to stop the spread of COVID.
Every year, Bush Church Aid sells Christmas puddings, with proceeds going to support churches and ministry in rural Australia. This year, they’ve even got a gluten free Christmas pudding on offer!
Prefer to cook yourself? Download the World Vision Hunger Bites cookbook, which is packed full of affordable family recipes that could be perfect for a Christmas gathering. Recipes were contributed by chefs including Neil Perry and Maggie Beer, both of whom sponsor children through World Vision. The cookbook is free to download but you could consider making a gift of $14 to World Vision – that’s enough to feed a family in Kenya for a week.
If you’ve got a friend or family member who loves art, pick this gorgeous Double Blessing print ($390). Designed by artist Tess Guinery, she’s selling it this Christmas in support of IJM’s mission to end slavery in our lifetime.
If that’s a little expensive, Mary & Sally have a number of very affordable text-based prints of your favourite Bible verses, Christian quotes and hymns, plus cards for every occasion.
For the person in your life who loves to read as well as appreciate the beauty of the world, consider buying the latest issue of Soul Tread magazine ($25) or get a subscription for 2022. Each Soul Tread issue scouts out hopeful stories on sustainable faith, church as a community and cultural engagement.
Something for the countdown to Christmas
For Christian households, the Names of Jesus Advent calendar from Lacewing Creative is the perfect way to count down to Christmas. Each day, peg up a new card with a name of Jesus (e.g. Messiah, I Am, Son of Man) and read an accompanying Bible verse. This is great to teach kids or just enjoy yourself.
Prefer a book? Here are two options:
Beloved spiritual writer Evelyn Underhill believed that God does not just come to us at special times, but is always coming to us. But how do we recognise his coming and make ourselves open to it? In Music of Eternity, the Archbishop of York’s Advent Book 2021, Robyn Wrigley-Carr shares a series of meditations exploring the nature God’s comings. Skilfully weaving together Underhill’s writings with the psalms and short prayers, she shows how, as Christians, we can embrace God’s coming and be transformed by them in order to better love others.
Joyous reflection and eager anticipation mark the season of Christmas, as Christians around the world celebrate the coming of their Saviour. In Good News of Great Joy, John Piper invites readers to refocus their hearts on Jesus during the Advent season. Each of the 25 daily readings highlights a Bible passage and a short reflection. Perfect for personal reading and family devotions, these daily readings are a great way to contemplate the magnificence of the promise of salvation through the birth of Jesus Christ.
Something to read
Continuing on the literary theme, our friends at Koorong have a number of great books that would make perfect gifts.
Ancient apprentices of Jesus developed a paradigm for this war; they spoke of the three enemies of the soul: the devil, the flesh, and the world. Live No Lies by John Mark Comer taps into this ancient wisdom from saints of the Way and translates the three enemies for the modern era, with all its secularism and sophistication. In this provocative and practical book, bestselling author John Mark Comer combines cultural analysis with spiritual formation. He identifies the role lies play in our spiritual deformation and lays out a strategic plan to overcome them.
For years, writer Tim Challies has been posting spiritual insights from influential Christian thought leaders, helping his thousands of online followers mature in their faith. Now these inspirations are yours to discover in his one-of-a-kind devotional Words from the Wise: Knowing and Enjoying God. This curated collection of quotes, along with stunning photography and corresponding devotions from Tim, challenges you to cultivate consistent spiritual habits, including prayer, Bible reading, worship, evangelism, fasting, silence and solitude, gratitude and stewardship.
Are you walking through a storm of life? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Alone? In Soar above the Storm, Eternity contributor Nick Hawkes draws on his own experiences of storm-walking with cancer to encourage you to find rest and hope in God amidst your suffering. Join him to take, as Jesus did, a forty-day retreat; to rest in the loving presence of God, be refreshed and strengthened for the road ahead, and ultimately find God’s peace residing deep within your soul.
Something to watch
If your friends and family haven’t seen The Chosen yet, make sure you get them a copy of Season 1 on DVD this Christmas. For the first time ever, the greatest story ever told is presented as a multi-season show. The Chosen is the #1 crowdfunded media project in entertainment history – a groundbreaking portrayal of the life of Jesus Christ and His disciples. Digging deeper into the backstories and context of the people and events of the Gospels, Season One introduces you to people such as Simon Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and of course Jesus in a way never before seen on film. See how Jesus reaches each of these and more as He works His first miracles and embarks on His ministry to change the world. See Him through the eyes of those who met Him.
If your loved ones are more into streaming than discs, check out Olive Tree Media’s new Watch+ streaming platform. Including all of Olive Tree Media’s acclaimed series including Jesus the Game Changer and Towards Belief, plus bonus extended interviews with guests like Christine Caine, Ed Stetzer and Lynn Cohick. You can get access for four people from just $8 per month.
Something to listen to
Hillsong Worship recently released a new album, ‘These Same Skies’, which should definitely be on your list for any music lovers.
The band say about this album: “Whether in the northern or southern hemisphere, these same skies unite us, all of God’s children, as many as the stars in the sky, just as the Lord promised Abraham. It is under these same skies that Christ’s church, His body on earth, exists today. Though separated by oceans and borders, the mandate of Hillsong Worship continues under these same skies. One in heart and spirit, unified in mission and cause-to glorify the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to build His Church, and to serve His Church with the new song.”
Something good for planet and people
Many families are on the journey of trying to reduce their waste, and these clever ‘Unpaper Towels’ replace paper towels in the kitchen. Made from 100% cotton flannelette, Unpaper Towels can be used to clean benchtops, clean up grubby kids at meal times, as a picnic napkin, as a dusting rag, to wipe up spills, as a dish cloth, clean windows and more! Flannelette naturally clings together so can be rolled onto a standard paper towel holder without the need to be joined together. Or sit them on your bench top in a small basket.
These towels come via Buy from the Bush, a fantastic digital marketplace full of products from regional and rural manufacturers and stores. After years of bushfires, floods and restricted travel, buying Christmas gifts from Buy from the Bush will really make a difference to these businesses and the people behind them.
Something to learn
Christmas and the summer holidays are a great time to get stuck into learning something new and growing in your skills, so why not bless someone you love with one of the online courses from the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute. Their courses ‘Building a Safe and Strong Marriage’ (helping married couples grow through the best Christian and secular wisdom) and ‘Press On’ (equipping people to build resilience and good mental health) are a thoughtful way to express your care. The team at the MHPCI say Press On especially would be a great gift for pastors this Christmas, after another hard COVID year.
For something a little different, take a look at the Wycliffe Story the Bible Online Comprehensive Course. This course walks participants through how to tell engaging, life-changing stories from the Bible, which could really help take evangelism to the next level. Maybe this could be a great gift for your kids’ Sunday school teachers or youth leaders?