You know the drill. Christmas is coming - there are stockings to be stuffed and gifts to be purchased.
But wait. What if we can learn from the Grinch who stole Christmas: “What if Christmas doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” What if this Christmas we give from our hearts, from our time, from our treasure?
We’ve come up with some creative alternative gift ideas to ensure your holidays feel more life-giving than pocket-plunging.
- Write a letter. Words are a powerful gift to give family and friends. Take a moment to pen your intentional appreciation and share why your life is richer because of their presence in it. Long after toys break and clothes shrink, is the truth that your words live on in the form of affirmation, encouragement and life. Frame the letter or tie it with string and offer the gift of words this Christmas.
- Give experiences, not things. How does the recipient feel most valued and loved? Would they enjoy a day at the museum or a shared concert experience? Would they enjoy a coastal hike and picnic lunch? What about a dress-up bin full of cowboy boots and boas and fun accessories for the favorite littles in your life? Consider a cooking class or baking set for the foodies, a board game for family gatherings and a magazine or handmade bookmarks for the readers in your life. The better you identify how people feel valued, the more creative you can be with gift ideas. Perhaps an experience is a gift they will remember long after the ribbons are untied and gifts are opened.
- Give outwardly. Bring Christmas to another family. Pray about whom you can bless and go shopping as a family with them in mind. Allow your kids to pick out gifts for other kids. Talk about the gift of giving and turning outward. Tuck restaurant gift cards inside an envelope and deliver the package to their doorstep. For a fun twist, keep the notion anymous. If we hope to teach our children and others’ about giving, maybe the truest way to model this is through action.
- Invite a widow, neighbor or friend to your holiday celebration. Christmas is a festive time of year for those who have family surrounding, but what about those who are alone? Pray about who you can invite into your home this Christmas – to join the ruckus for Christmas breakfast and find themselves a pair of slippers to cozy up as an honary guest. Who can benefit from a kind invitation to Christmas dinner or a family tradition? When we invite people into the meaning of why we celebrate, joy is doubled. And joy is a priceless gift.
Be creative. Think intentionally. Give generously.