Give Christmas Gifts from the Heart
- Thursday, December 04, 2003
On the first Christmas, God gave the world the ultimate gift - His Son, Jesus. And just as He gave to us from His heart, we too can give heartfelt Christmas gifts that share His love. There are endless possibilities for gifts you can give to friends, family and your community, but here are some suggestions you can use to get started:
Take time to prepare before the Christmas season hits. Ponder the ways the gift of Jesus has blessed you, and consider how you might best celebrate that through everything you do for Christmas. Take stock of the time, energy, and money you have available, and decide to work within your means to create a meaningful Christmas without unnecessary stress. Think about all the people on your gift list and ask God to help you know what types of gifts would bless them the most.
Open God's most important gift to you. If you haven't yet received the gift of salvation through Jesus, open this gift from God by beginning an eternal relationship with Him. This gift keeps giving and giving.
Let your words be gifts. Speaking positive and encouraging words to the people around you doesn't cost a cent, but enriches their lives in priceless ways.
Forgive. Remember the grace that God has given you, and ask Him to help you give the gift of forgiveness to those who have hurt you.
Create some handmade gifts. Recipients of these gifts often treasure them more than store-bought presents because of their personal touches and the care that went into making them. Some simple projects include: soup, a creative family photo, a potpourri pillow, handmade clothes (like a bathrobe or a sweater), and furniture or toys that you build or finish yourself (such as a rocking chair, a doll house, or a train set).
Design Christmas decorations for your friends and family. Create unique designs to use in your own home, and also for others. Make handmade Christmas tree ornaments, nativity scenes, bells, tablecloths, place mats, garlands, candles, centerpieces, gingerbread houses, Christmas teddy bears, and whatever else you and other would enjoy.
Bake away. Nearly everyone loves to eat baked goods at Christmas time. Make a Christmas bread, sugar cookies, fudge, or any other special holiday treat.
Give the gift of time. Your time is even more valuable than your money. Give gift certificates committing to help people out with various tasks, such as: rides to places they need to go (especially useful for senior citizens), help with household chores (such as cooking, cleaning, and yard work), babysitting (great for parents of young children), or lessons in your areas of expertise (such as music, sports, or computers).
Send Christmas cards. Remember that they can be very simple; the most important thing is just keeping in touch. Forget long Christmas letters and elaborate photos if you don't have time. Just let people know you're thinking of them.
Hold a Christmas party. Invite people to a candlelight dinner party, potluck, or dessert party at your home. Participate with several other families in a progressive dinner (with stops at different houses for different courses in a single meal). Take some friends or family members out to lunch and celebrate at a nice restaurant. Bring party food and decorations to people who can't get out (such as elderly shut-ins or people in the hospital) and celebrate with them as you visit.
Give Christmas flowers. Bless people with gifts of poinsettias, roses, and narcissuses.
Get together for Christmas events. Give each other the gift of your company as you attend Christmas concerts, plays, parades, living nativities, and light shows together. You may even want to go Christmas caroling together through local neighborhoods.
Share the traditions of your ethnic heritage. Invite loved ones to enjoy the traditions of your ancestors with you.
Hold a gift-wrapping party. Have fun as you and your friends and family members wrap your gifts as creatively as you can.
Adapted from Christmas Gifts from the Heart, copyright © 1999 by Dolley Carlson. Published by Chariot Victor Publishing, a division of Cook Communications Ministries, www.cookministries.com.
Dolley Carlson has a heartfelt desire to help women with creative solutions to meet the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. Through her speaking ministry, From the Heart, Dolley has traveled the globe sharing messages of hope, encouragement, and inspirational ways to nurture relationships with friends, family, and community. She and her husband Tom have been married more than 25 years, have two grown daughters, and reside in Southern California.
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