When it comes to buying Christian gifts for children there are a number of things that must be considered. The two most important questions are: How old is the child? And, is the child a believer? The answer to those questions greatly affects the things that you might think about buying the child, and the ability to adapt to changes in the child’s maturity will make sure that the gifts you give your children will have the impact that you want.
Young Children (Ages 2-7)
Children in this age range are not Christians, though they may be raised in a Christian home and go to church, they have not made the choice to accept Christ and become a believer. As a parent the gifts that you give children of this age will have a long-term impact on their development. A good gift is a picture Bible, where the children can come and read with you and hear the stories from the Bible with some illustrations. This will back up the things that you have been teaching them and what they have learned in Sunday School. It is also a good way to help teach the kids how to read. Another great gift are movies such as the Veggie Tales movies. These uplifting stories teach children moral lessons in a fun and entertaining way.
Older Children (Ages 8-13)
Older children, or tweens, are a hard group to shop for because they change so much during this time period. Some of them make become Christians at this age, and that will affect what you might consider buying them. You should consult with your pastor for what might make a good gift for a very young and immature Christian. For Christian and non-Christian kids alike, a first real Bible is a step in the right direction. The children will feel mature when they have the chance to take care of their own Bibles and they will be encouraged to read and study on their own. The translation should be something easy to read, like a Living Translation or even The Message. This is also a good time to give the children some Christian themed t-shirts or clothing that will allow them to express their faith to their peers.
Teens (Ages 13-18)
As your child goes through their teenage years you will face some challenges. They may question their faith and refuse to go to church. They may decide to spend their summers as missionaries to a foreign country. Or they could just go through the usual growing pains of a Christian teen. This is a good time to give the child a piece of real jewelry, especially if they have become a Christian. The child should be old enough to understand the importance of taking care of their belongings, and a gold cross is a way for you to show them that you love them, and so does Christ. No child forgets their first piece of real jewelry and you can take the time to let them know just how proud you are of the choices they have made. This is also a good time to introduce your child to Christian literature outside of the Bible. Books written about the teenage struggle may help your child make the transition into adulthood a little easier, and the Christian perspective will help reinforce the values that you have taught.
As children grow up parents have to adapt the types of gifts that they give out. The right gift, at the right time, can be a real blessing for the parent and the child. As a parent really think about how the gifts that you give can help your children mature in their relationships with Jesus Christ.
I am Larry McDonald, pastor and father of five. I have been shopping for religious gifts to give my children for almost thirty years now, and the best resource that I have found is http://www.dayspring.com/christian_living/religious_gifts_for_any_occassion/. Their selection has never failed to give me the gift I want, when I want to give it.