Gift giving at Christmas is a joy and a challenge, former procrastinators. For those of our bent, it can feel like a burden. Maybe it’s lack of time, ideas, or funds that makes gift giving feel like a chore even though we want to delight others with thoughtful presents.
Consider the following ideas and maybe make a shift in thinking. Many of us agree we have too much already so we’d like to be careful about acquiring more – but we still enjoy giving and receiving.
The most important thing to consider is how can we best celebrate Jesus?
Some of the following require money, others do not:
- Draw names to lessen the number of gifts needed.
- Team up and give jointly
- Remembering the three wise men, limit gifts to three per person.
- Time coupons. My favorite! Give an evening of babysitting or clean the garage, rake leaves, cut grass, go grocery shopping. What about a coupon to spend time together as the recipient chooses?
- Provide for a personal trainer session, music lessons, cooking class, zoo membership, Audible subscription.
- Contribute funds for expenses such as insurance, school, car savings.
- Give a night away at a bed and breakfast.
- Take a trip as a family or group of friends.
- Donate money to a charity dear to the recipient, or have him or her choose a charity that interests him. Several charities offer goats, water wells, etc. with lasting benefit. You can select gifts together and follow up on the results.
- Give items you know the person hesitates to splurge on personally – essential oils, manicure, favorite coffee, restaurant gift card, etc.
- Create a calendar of family photos – a happy new picture every month.
- Learn to share something meaningful to the recipient. I secretly learned to play “Clair de Lune” one year for Mother’s Day, because it was Mother’s favorite .
- Make a “cookbooklet” of the person’s favorite recipes that you make. Write in comments of times you’ve eaten those dishes together.
- Make recordings for grandparents and friends far away – children singing, playing the trumpet, telling a story.
- Teach a skill you have – bread baking, woodworking.
- Volunteer somewhere Christmas Day or during the season. The whole family or a group of friends enjoys time together serving others.
- Give family heirlooms or something meaningful of your own. Write down the story that goes with the item.
- Make a photo album. (Huge note to self for next year!)
- Write or print something meaningful to the recipient and frame it. A friend gave me the word “feet.” That framed calligraphy motivates me daily. (“The Feet Theme” January 4, 2016)
- Do a gift swap of “pre-owneds” using guidelines you make up or find online.
- Work on a project together that will benefit others.
We have all we need to celebrate Jesus.
What ideas or comments would you add to these?