A truly valuable Christmas (or anytime) gift idea


When I think back about over the many Christmas gifts I have received through the years, the ones that mean the most to me are the ones that had a personal connection with the gift giver. And what is more timeless and memorable, than a special book with a beautiful inscription?

A few years ago, I came across a book that belonged to my late uncle from when he was a little boy. It was just a simple children’s book, The Story of Ping.  I think my uncle must have been around seven or eight years old when he received it from his Aunt Mary.

By the time I found it, there was evidence that this had been a well-loved and well-read book, with torn and worn pages and cover.


With a quick turn of the cover and I saw immediately why this book had stood the test of time and stayed in the family library for so many years – there in the corner was an inscription – To Calvin Leckrone Jr., from Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary, Christmas 1936


Just the little time and effort it took to make a personal inscription in a wonderful book made it a family heirloom, a keepsake, and something to remember some special relatives by.
Calvin Leckrone Jr.
Aunt Mary was my great-aunt, and I remember her as being very smart with a wicked sense of humor.

Dear Aunt Mary – how clever was she to assure that we wouldn’t forget her! And she did it in a very simple yet meaningful way – she bought a great book (hard cover), and then wrote the name of the recipient and her name, with the year and the event. Those simple things and voila! A keepsake is born.


The first step is to pick out a great book.

Here are some suggestions for older kids.

Literature ideas for boys

Melissa Wiley’s book recommendations.

For the Love of Literature- PDF

The second part is to simply get a good pen in black or blue ink (but I think black lasts longer and looks nicer) and write your inscription on the inside cover. I have found that I have to plan it out a little bit before I write it out. Be sure to include the occasion and the year! This may take away from the “value” of the book on one hand. But that’s not the kind of “value” I am interested in building anyway! The value of this little book that belonged to my uncle as a little boy from my great aunt is rich in family history, sentiment, and love.

Copyright 2015 Elena LaVictoire.
Photos copyright 2015 Elena LaVictoire. All rights reserved.


About Author

Elena LaVictoire is a graduate of Baker College and a retired medical transcriptionist. She is married and homeschooled six children. Elena is a public speaker on the topics of marriage, homeschooling, and confirmation preparation. She was also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. Elena practices and performs with her flute and records with the Peace Together Choir. She blogs at MyDomesticChurch.com.


  1. Cindy Coleman on

    I always find it a bit sad when I find a book in a thrift store and it has a personal inscription like that.

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