However, just because I don't love books as gifts for Christmas, does not mean there aren't other book themed alternatives that will make fun presents on Christmas morning. I have assembled a list that I hope will give you some inspiration to get shopping and give the gifts of reading and writing in perhaps a less conventional format.
Lulu Jr. Illustory - $25
This will be under our tree this holiday for my daughter. Kids can write and illustrate their own story, send it in and then receive their story in a hardcover, typeset book. I think my daughter will love seeing herself as a "real" author! There is also a kit for comic strips for kids who prefer that genre.
Toysmith Invisible Writer - $7
This will be a stocking stuffer this year. Kids love the idea of writing secret messages and I think this one will keep their interest. It might also be a fun gift for them to give to a BFF so they can pass private messages back and forth - but only before and after school of course!
Silly Word Flashcards - $12
We are always trying to improve our kids vocabulary and I can't say that they enjoy it. However, with words like Dillydallying and Flimflam I hope my kids start having fun with words. The manufacturer also offers a set with Big Words which look equally as entertaining.
Random Acts of Kindness Cards - $15
I am completely enamored with these. As a family you take on random acts of kindness. It could be sending a letter to a relative you haven't seen in a while or picking up trash on hike. Family members can record their accomplishments on a sticker board and share their experience on the website. What a great way to talk to your family about compassion and kindness, in keeping with the holiday spirit.
I'm As Big As Height Chart - $15
I know that most people wouldn't consider a height chart as a the perfect gift, but this one is so fun it really is a wonderful present. What kid wouldn't want to know when they had reached the heights of Napolean, Elvis and even the longest mustache. No more begging your kids to stand up straight next to the door frame. They will be clamoring to see when they overtake a baby giraffe.
Budsies - $69
Imagine turning one of your kids beloved drawings into an actual stuffed toy. Budsies will take your child's artwork and create a plush version, bringing their designs to life. They will even take on the most abstract of young artists and interpret their design!
Just Between Us - $11
This is a journal that goes back and forth between mother and daughter. The author and her daughter started their own shared journal when her daughter was nine and it was such a success that they provided a format for other parents and children to do the same. The communication can be silly, serious and funny, and it provides another way for you and your child to communicate, especially when you may not always see eye to eye. I am looking forward to starting this one with my daughter.
Bodydoodles: The Tattoo Guessing Game - $15
Now I am always looking for ways for my kids to pick up a pen, especially away from school and this game will guarantee they work on their art skills. Pick a card with a thing to draw and a body part to draw it on, and everyone in the family will be excessing their artistic abilities on elbows, ankles and arms. But don't worry, it all washes off with soap and water when the game is over! And did I mention it won the Creative Child Game of the Year Award this year.
First Book Gift Catalog - Variety
Finally I will make a plea for the gift of charity. First Book is dedicated to getting books into the hands of kids who don't have the same access that our children have to great stories. You and your kids can select books by type (funny, teen, empowering) or you can chose to give to kids from military families, kids with disabilities or foster children. I am letting each of my children select one group on the site. They have loved books their whole lives, so I think this gift will touch them as much as the kids who receive the books.