Amy Carroll » Living Joyfully » How to Prioritize Your People in the Most Engaging Way

How to Prioritize Your People in the Most Engaging Way

(This page contains affiliate links. Your clicks and purchases help defray Amy’s website costs at no extra charge to you.)

When it comes to prioritizing my people at Christmas, I have one main draw. I know some of you summon your people with the wafts of yummy smells coming from your kitchen.

But that’s not me. (Although I’d clean up at your house if you invited me over to eat!)

And I know that others have lure your people in with a pile of beautifully wrapped gifts under your tree.

That’s not me.

I can imagine the gorgeous decorations that lots of you use for the eye-candy that gets your people to stop and enjoy.

That’s sort of me. 🙂

I have always had one main passion that I share to reel in my people and that’s my love for books and reading. I’m an unabashed bibliophile, and books are what I love to use to spend time with my people. I share books with friends, read books to children, and read aloud to my hubby in bed. Ok. He doesn’t love that, but I can’t help myself!

Last week I posted a photo of my Christmas book bucket, and it created quite a wonderful conversation online.

I know many of you love books the way I do, so I wanted to give you a gift idea for those of you who still need a few last minute items. There’s still time to give a book! (Or collect a few for next year.) Here’s the list of some of the favorites in my book bucket:

Sacred Stories:

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado

Just for Fun:

Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia by Lynn Sweat

The Nutcracker: A Pop-Up Book illustrated by Phillida Gili

Hillbilly Night Afore Christmas by Thomas Noel Turner

Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair

Note: The last two must be read with the appropriate accents!

Childhood Classics:

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

My Friends’ Pick:

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

I just ordered The Crippled Lamb today for a sweet young one in my life! Do you have any favorites that I missed? I’ll add yours to my list for next year. Once I add yours, I’ll need a bigger bucket– a dream-come-true for me. One day in the future, I won’t necessarily be the grandma with a plate of homemade cookies (although cookies can be bought!), but I will be the one who will sit and read to the little person on my lap until they either fall asleep or jump down.

Merry Christmas, friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Colleen Fernandes says:

    Yes, I have definitely been behind. When I read your post this morning, I loved it. I love books and I love Christmas books. One of my favorite books is The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. You will love the simple story.

  2. Katherine Tinberg says:

    Dear Amy,
    Thank you for sharing your idea of a book bucket and for the suggestions of books to read both for
    myself and for children. I was a 3rd grade teacher and read to my students every day. I am now
    teaching children in an after-school program about God’s love for us. Also, I volunteer at our local
    library so I have a new list of wonderful books to read. Thank you.

  3. I love books as well and always have lots on hand that I haven’t had a chance to read. Now that my bookshelf has outgrown its space for new additions, I want to purge and recycle books to new owners who can appreciate the contents. It’s a wonderful hobby to collect the books, but their storage is always problematic to me. Maybe another book case is needed? Thanks for all your great ideas in new reads.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Yes! I’ve been thinking the same, Kathy. This summer I’m going to clean out all the children’s books in my attic, keeping only my favorites for future grandchildren. The rest are going to a new teacher’s classroom!

  4. Oh I love books and I love to read. I am so happy when I am sitting in the local library surrounded by books!! I have so many books in my house that I still need to read and that is on my goal list for 2018. Last year I gave away 3 totes of books that I had already read and needed to be recycled to a new home. Now I have only those books I love and want to keep and those that I still need to read on my shelves. This year I am planning to focus on those books and give those authors positive feedback when I finish. I know how important that can be when others read your writings. I want to be more intentional on those things in 2018. Thank you for the book bucket idea! Merry Christmas!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Merry Christmas to you, Deanna!

  5. Grammie Vickie says:

    I previously worked in a public school library, and made it a point to always read Santa’s Favorite Story to the K-2nd graders each December. 😉 Now that I’m retired, I have my own copy of this wonderful book which I read to my 4 grandchildren. Merry CHRISTmas!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I love that book, Vickie, and I always read it to my kids when I was teaching school. Great way to slip in some Jesus!

  6. Ooh! We love the Dragon books by Dav Pilkey, so Dragon’s Merry Christmas is a must! If you’re not a fan of the Dragon books, you need to be. In fact, maybe I’ll go read them now. 😉

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m going to look them up, Kendra! Thanks for some new titles.

  7. Thru the years I have attempted to refocus from the commercialization of Christmas and dwell in the real reason for the season by purchasing and gifting books…needless to say I have quite the collection…..LOVE, LOVE your book bucket idea as there are just too many to display thru out the house. Thx for sharing this!
    Merry and blessed Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I may be moving to a book TUB next year! 🙂

  8. I love books. When our boys were young I would wrap 24 Christmas books and allow them to open one each night, we saved the 24th book wrapped in foil for Christmas Eve. The foil wrapped book was the story of Christ’s birth. I miss those days. I provided books to my nieces to carry on the tradition. Of course I saved my favorites! Thanks for a few new titles. Merry Christmas!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      What a wonderful idea! I’m going to have to implement that tradition for grandchildren some day.

  9. Camille Goorbarry says:

    I agree! This season I did the same by sharing thoughts ,ecards and devotionals to those at my cancer support groups, art workshops and wellness centres. I prayed on every one of them and made lists of who I was giving them too. I aimed for 50 to tell of the good news but I know I have surpassed that and I so am grateful for the ways the lord has provided the books for me. Most of them were free thru his workings I was able to acquire them!!!!!!!what an amazing all providing God.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I can just imagine you spreading the joy with your gifts, Camille! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.