All I want for Christmas is...a book!
Over the last few years, a new gift-giving trend has emerged:
Something they want,\ Something they need,\ Something to wear,\ Something to read.
The idea behind this four-fold giving is to help people to limit their excessive, and often sacrificial, spending on gifts and to buy more thoughtfully for their loved ones. In our age of electronic gadgetry and out of control consumerism, the four-fold giving model combines individualism with practicality, and generosity with a more sustainable approach to giving. It isn’t proscriptive, but it can provide some structure to what can be a crazy time of year.
At Free Church Books, we are naturally delighted with the last part of this four-fold gift: ‘something to read’. Books are timeless, re-usable, encouraging, escapist, informative and quiet! They encourage imagination, stimulate thought and often start conversations. So this year, before you reach for the chocolates, the toiletries, the technology, pause for a moment. What about a book?
A Book that Keeps on Giving
There are so many amazing books out there. There are books you just have to pull an all-nighter to finish, books you like to take slowly to make the most of, books you come back to year after year. This is of course true of our favourite novel, or non-fiction book, but it is also true of Christian books too. Good Christian books, through the gospel of Jesus Christ they proclaim, have the power to challenge, encourage, heal, create community, and best of all – give life. No, I’m not claiming that books have supernatural powers! Only God does. But books, and the Bible above all others, have the Word of life; the glorious truth about our Saviour Jesus Christ. How many people come to faith each year by reading through a gospel? There is something about the written word that is unavoidable. It will linger in your thoughts; it can delight and intrigue all at once.
Over the past year, Free Church Books has reviewed nearly fifty great books, and that’s only scratching the surface of what’s available! From Derek Prime’s ‘A Good Old Age’ to Rosaria Butterfield’s ‘The Gospel Comes with a House Key’, we’ve been blown away by the diversity and quality of the good Christian books out there – and more are being published every day. There are books about God’s love, God’s compassion, science, history, new publications, old classics, devotionals for all tastes – the list goes on. So when you start your Christmas shopping, come and visit our online shop – you're sure to find something you’d like to give, and receive too!
A Giveaway Book
As well as making great gifts, books can also be a good way of leaving a lasting impression with those visitors your church only gets at this time of year. You know the ones I mean – they come for the carols and the candlelight, the mince pies and mulled apple juice, and then they disappear again for another year. Well, why not consider giving them a very short book about the true meaning of Christmas as they leave? You just never know at what quiet moment over the festive season they might spot it lying around and read a page or two. You might even see them back in church in January!
We’ve reviewed a few to help you choose, including William Taylor’s pamphlet ‘Good News, Great Joy’ to Paul William’s ‘Christmas: The Greatest Gift’. You can browse the whole range in our online shop's Christmas section. They are short, cheap and good – what’s not to love?
Go on. Give a book. Give Jesus. Give life.
Miriam Montgomery, Free Church Books