For the first time ever, I’ve done some of my Christmas shopping online. Lego for the grandsons—check. Doll clothes for my eldest granddaughter—check. Goodies for my daughter and daughter-in-law whose names we drew for this year’s gift giving—check. And so the list goes. I’ve almost completed the task, and unbelievably early (for me) at that.
Christmas will be here in a blink, and I look forward to opening our home to family and friends. I enjoy all the seasonal traditions, but I especially enjoy seeing the delight on people’s faces when they open their gifts.
Giving to others brings me great joy. That’s because my Heavenly Father instilled within me—through His example—the importance of giving: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).
We’ve been bombarded with Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads that encourage us to do our shopping now and get great deals. But, as we think about giving this season, let’s remember that we don’t have to spend a small fortune on presents. Some of the best gifts are free.
Here are three meaningful Christmas gifts that don’t cost a dime:
Anyone, from a child to a shut-in senior, values the present of presence. Make a coupon for a grown-up that says, “Let’s do coffee,” and then suggest a couple of options for getting together within 2-3 weeks after Christmas or the New Year. For a child, offer to browse at a pet store, spend an hour at a park, or play a favorite board game.
A girlfriend looked at my schedule recently and said, “How can I help you achieve your writing goals? Can I bring meals a couple days a week so you don’t have to do food prep?” Her offer has proven lifesaving. You might not have the luxury to commit as my girlfriend did, but you can probably provide one meal, or offer to babysit little ones, or run errands for a senior who finds it difficult to go out in winter. Look at your loved one’s life and determine what task would be most helpful.
One of my all-time favorite gifts from my son and his wife was an empty jam jar containing little strips of paper on which they’d written notes of appreciation for things I’ve done plus reasons for why they love me. I did a similar thing years ago for my parents and told them to read one per day, like a vitamin for the soul. A jar containing 30 wee notes is a gift that brings enjoyment for a month, and it keeps on giving because the recipient can read those notes over and over again.
God gave to us from a heart of love, and that ought to be our motive for giving, too—not to outdo someone else’s giving, not to impress, and not to do so from feelings of obligation. We give because we love, and sometimes the best gifts are free.
What are your thoughts? What gifts can you give that don’t cost money?
#bgbg2 #ChristmasShopping #devotions