Multiplying Blessings: Christmas Gifts that Keep on Giving
- Monday, December 17, 2007
Every year the Christmas season poses a dilemma. How do we show our friends and family our love without going overboard with a present? Without “buying in” to the rampant consumerism of the season? How can you tastefully share the real meaning of Christmas? Well, here are a few ideas.
Something that has become a tradition of mine is to give a book that has meant the most to me over the past year. This year I will be giving out sociologist Rodney Stark’s Victory of Reason, which traces how it was biblical ideas that gave rise to the modern ideas of freedom, equality, and democracy. It is a wonderful book for those on my list—those who are Christians, as well as those who are still searching for meaning. Giving a book that has meant something to me personally is an opportunity to share what matters most to me—my faith.
More gifts I will be giving this Christmas include DVDs of two of my favorite movies from the past year: The Ultimate Gift and Amazing Grace. I have recommended these on “BreakPoint” before. They both beautifully illustrate the power of the Christian worldview.
The Ultimate Gift tells the story of a grandfather who wants to ensure his grandson inherits a legacy much more precious than money. The plan he develops helps both his grandson and the viewer understand what matters most: work and dignity.
Amazing Grace—which has become one of my all-time favorite movies—tells the story of my personal hero, William Wilberforce. The film marvelously portrays Wilberforce’s Christian faith, his driving passion, and unfailing perseverance to abolish the British slave trade. I cannot imagine that your friends or family will not be deeply moved.
And here is another one for you. Give a gift that not only will be treasured, but also one that helps people in need. Take, for example, a company, Wonderfully Made Jewelry, which employs former victims of sex-trafficking to give them a sustainable and God-honoring occupation. These women make necklaces, bracelets, and pendants that are not just wonderfully made, as their name says, but are also helping women restart their lives and understand that they are wonderfully made treasures of God. What a great chance to talk with a loved one about what it means to be made in the very image of God.
You could buy a 10-dollar bag of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee, grown by Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda. This gift will not only be enjoyed over the months—it’s good coffee—but proceeds will support reconciliation efforts in that genocide-torn country. This kind of gift allows you to tell others about God’s forgiveness and reconciliation in the most difficult areas. And you can remind them what the birth of Christ really signals.
Sadly, I do not have time to tell you about the many other organizations out there with beautiful products that actually help people in the deepest need. But I should mention some worthy charities, like Samaritan’s Purse or our own Angel Tree program, where you can purchase a gift for a needy child—and tell your children or grandchildren that you did it in their names. I have done that every year for my own grandchildren. Visit our website, BreakPoint.org, for more ideas.
This holiday season, think about giving gifts that point your loved ones to the real meaning of Christmas—the love of God incarnate in His Son, Jesus Christ.
This commentary originally appeared on BreakPoint. Used with permission.
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