I probably should have posted this a week ago, but time kind of got away from me. That happens sometimes. Nevertheless, I think this is still a valuable little article. I wanted to draw your attention to 10 unique gifts you might offer someone for Christmas this year—things that may not be on your radar but would still make a good and thoughtful gift for a loved one.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Tabletalk - Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk magazine makes a great gift. Every month it features articles by well-known authors, daily Bible studies, a Bible reading guide, and more. And in 2010 it is even going to have a monthly article from John Piper. It costs $23 within the US, $37 internationally.
Reformation Art - How about some art work for the church history enthusiast in your life? Reformation Art reproduces fine art photographic prints of the key figures and events of the Protestant Reformation, and the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition. They have all kinds of great prints available, all of which are produced in high quality and suitable for framing.
Historic Bibles - Or how about historic Bibles? A whole Bible would be out of reach for most of us, but a single page can be framed and make a nice gift. Historic Bibles offers Bible leaves and illuminated manuscripts in English, Latin, Greek, and German. Prices begin at $39. You can visit Geneva Bible Pages to buy leaves from just the Geneva Bible.
Spurgeon Pages - Sticking to a theme here, how about pages from an original sermon manuscript from C.H. Spurgeon? With your order you get one sermon manuscript page amended by Spurgeon, one Certificate of Validation and Authenticity from Spurgeon's College, one printed page with sermon title, text, portion of sermon printed out and one picture of Spurgeon that is suitable for framing.
Visual Verses - I saw Visual Verses at the True Woman conference in Texas a couple of months ago. I’m not convinced that the pictures on the web site really do them justice. Essentially they are passages of Scripture written out but with certain words highlighted or darkened in order to create a picture. Personally I think they are really funky and certainly they are unique!
Hopeink - I somehow came across this Etsy seller a little while ago and thought that her work was really good. Hunt around Etsy and you can find all sorts of other sellers who create interesting and originals pieces of art.
Kindle - OK, so it may not be that unique since it’s the most-gifted item at Amazon, but it’s certain a gift that most people will love. And it sure seems that e-readers are hitting the tipping point where they are no longer mere novelties but a significant part of the future of reading. This article from the New York Times is typical. “Publishers and booksellers are expecting that instead of giving your mother a new Nicholas Sparks novel or your father a David Baldacci thriller in the hardcovers that traditionally fly off the shelves and into wrapping paper at this time of year, you might elect to convert them to e-reading.” With prices falling fast (down to $189 for the 3G version and $139 for the WiFi version) there’s never been a better time to jump into the market.
Microfinance - For the person who would rather give than get, you might consider a microfinancing gift certificate—a way that your loved one can help sponsor a business in a developing country. Kiva and World Vision both offer you this ability. “Make this a Merry Christmas for your loved ones with a gift that lets them change the world. A Micro Loan Gift Card lets your family and friends choose a hard-working entrepreneur to help by funding their small business loan-to buy a sewing machine, a bicycle, training, or whatever will put their families on the pathway to success. ”
Now pardon me while I offer a couple that involve some level of self-interest but, I think, are no less worthy of being on this list (especially if you’re talking about “unique” gifts):
Cruciform Press Subscription - One of the unique things we offer at Cruciform Press (the publishing company I’ve co-founded) is subscriptions. Because our books are all one price and come out on a regular schedule, we can offer subscriptions to print books or e-books and we offer them at great prices. Just like subscribing to a magazine, you’ll receive a new book each month in either printed or e-book format.
Friends of the Blog - I’ve begun offering Friends of the Blog gift subscriptions, and a lot of people have already taken me up on the offer. For just $39 (or $34 if you’re already a Friend of the Blog) you can give your friend a subscription that will come with 5 books of their choice, 10 downloadable albums, a subscription to Christianity Today, and more.