Do you find yourself struggling to maintain a healthy perspective as Christmas day draws near? Generosity is a positive thing and while we want to give to those we love, it’s easy to lose focus, yielding ourselves to a spirit of materialism, discontentment and (dare I say), even greed. To combat these things this year, I’d like to suggest giving meaningful Christmas gifts that go deeper than “stuff.”
Things that will make a difference not in the contents of the closet, dresser drawers or collections, but in the heart.
Here are some of my favorites!
The Gift Of Time Spent With
It’s becoming more and more obvious as I observe the immediate world around me: we don’t need more stuff in our lives. Sometimes, giving another person the gift of our undivided attention and time speaks louder than anything else!
Get creative in how you present this gift, but offer that person _?_ hours of your time in the following month (be realistic). Be sure to schedule it in and make it happen.
Maybe they enjoy talking over a favorite hot drink? Going on walks? Perhaps a child wants to you to join them in their favorite activity?
Whatever it may be, spend time with that person in a way that speaks to their heart.
The Gift of An Experience
Experiences and memories are something we will carry with us forever, something no one can take away! Give a family member the gift of an experience.
What is one activity that individual enjoys, something they don’t get to do every day? Has your son been longing for an ice fishing trip with his friends? To have a sledding party with his buddies?
Perhaps your daughter has been begging for a sleepover with her friends? To go shopping with them?
The experience could be a concert. A retreat. Or a trip to see a close friend. Buy that person an experience that will make a positive, lasting memory!
The Gift of Giving
“No one has ever become poor by giving” ~Anne Frank.
Instead of giving to family members, consider giving as a family. Give to other families in need. If you don’t know anyone who could use a smile and boost come Christmas, check with the pastors of your local churches.
There are numerous ways to give. It might be a Christmas basket with all the fixings for dinner, hand-me-downs that are in excellent condition, gift cards for groceries or fuel, inviting others into your home for a dinner or giving another family a memorable experience.
Give, and you’ll soon find yourself receiving another gift, the gift of joy!
The Gift of Affirmation
It’s easy to get wrapped up in gifts at Christmas, to get caught in the flurry of parties and gatherings. In the rustle and bustle, I sometimes forget to acknowledge and enjoy the most precious gifts I have: the people in my life.
“Just as we leave the effects of our work behind in results, we leave the effects of our interactions with people in their hearts, minds, and souls” (Henry Cloud).
Instead of of getting caught up in material things, remember express gratitude for the things you see and have in your family members.
You can do this by creating a “Christmas jar” for every person in your household. Make this part fun for the kids! Grab scissors and magazines with holiday images, colored paper, ribbon, tape and let them be creative.
When everyone is through, cut numerous sheets of paper down to size so they’ll fit in the jars without being folded 100 times! Every day (for 1-2 weeks before Christmas) family members should write positive and encouraging words to each person, placing the notes in the appropriate jars.
When Christmas day comes, everyone can open up and read their “gifts of affirmation.”
It’s a little thing. But it does help shift the focus from “stuff” to the things that matter.
There are many options when it comes to giving meaningful Christmas gifts that go deeper than “stuff!” Think about your family members, who they are and how you can reach into their hearts this Christmas season.
And have a very, blessed Christmas!