Christmas gift-giving for a procrastinator can be a real challenge.
What to do? We want to bless someone with what we give. We’re also aware that a gift from the heart or a gift that involves sacrifice means even more.
Will you ponder with me some ideas I’ve been considering – gifts of margin, memories, and ministry?
The gift of margin. This one means allowing plenty of driving time and being ready before time to leave. For a 10 a.m. appointment, thirty minutes away, I would plan to leave at 9:15. I’d be dressed, the car loaded, the stove checked, the back door locked, before 9:15. With children to load up, I allow extra time for that. The gift of margin is a gift of sweet tempers, calm driving, happy atmosphere, clear conscience, and opportunity to chat when we arrive.
The gift of memories. This gift means I put the enjoyment of others above my do list. I maintain a sweet temperament while my plans are delayed or scuttled. I’m alert to seizing a moment such as singing carols together while washing dishes, or to planning a special moments such as mapping out a shopping trip plus lunch with my daughter. The gift of memories is a gift of joyful or meaningful moments in fellowship together.
The gift of ministry. This gift means I ask the Lord’s guidance in selecting an area in which I give time and effort to serve others outside our immediate family. Maybe family members participate too. Churches and organizations have particular needs at Christmas, but their needs continue when the decorations are packed away. Maybe I could begin at Christmas and then continue serving – visiting at the nursing home, tutoring. This gift of ministry is a gift of kindness extended beyond the walls of home.
All these gifts provide us with opportunity to die to self so the power of the Holy Spirit moves in and through us for the benefit of someone else. They all remind us the Father gave us Jesus who gave Himself for us. Gratefully, we give.
This week, what will we give?