Christmas is less than two weeks away! The excitement is definitely building and my shopping is almost done!
To be honest, as I get older I am finally learning to value and treasure those special gifts which can’t be bought or sold, or handed to me wrapped in pretty packaging. I still have a love for material possessions (like books!) and I’m still planning to give gifts that are things, however, this Christmas I want to give some gifts that can’t be purchased.
Whatever you have on your shopping list and whatever “stuff” you plan to give to others… consider giving one of these following “gifts”. They won’t cost you any cash, although they will cost you – be it in time or a small personal sacrifice. These are the gifts that others will treasure for days, weeks, or maybe even years from now.
5 Gifts You Should Give Others this Christmas
The Gift of Memories
Looking back over the Christmases I’ve had so far (this will be my 21st!) the things that remain fixed in my memory are not the physical gifts I received, but rather the memories. There are the memories of large(r) family gatherings, the family traditions (like spinach balls on Christmas Eve), moments of laughter (like the time my Grandpa and Uncle laughed so hard they cried), and watching Christmas movies with my cousin in my grandparent’s spare room. Things are very different now but I am so thankful I have those memories.
Memories are gifts… and most likely there are people in your life that would love the gift of a memory with you. Whether it’s your family, a friend, or a younger girl who needs a “sister-figure”, sacrifice a bit of time to make new memories. Make your family your priority and then carve out some time for others.
- Do something fun and spontaneous
- Start a new tradition
- Bring back an old tradition
- Take lots of pictures
- Give photos of past memories to help you and others to remember those special times
This Christmas give the gift of memories.
The Gift of Friendship
“A friend loveth at all times…” Proverbs 17:17
“A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
I have some very special people in my life that I am so thankful to call “friends”. I can’t imagine my life without them. It saddens me to think that there are people out there who don’t have many friends… and the friends they do have don’t exactly fall under the category of a “close friend” or even a “good friend”.
I made some new friends this year – and one of them I believe is lonely and searching. As much as I want to reach out to her and be her friend it can be hard for me to give up the time I so selfishly hoard and set aside for ME.
However, it occurred to me that you and I can give the gift of friendship whether we choose to sacrifice a little or a lot. Giving the gift of friendship can be simple:
- Send a quick “thinking of you” text
- Mail a Christmas card/note
- Call them
- Write a thoughtful letter
- Carve out some time to spend with them
Whether it’s a big or little personal sacrifice, we can all give someone the gift of our friendship. Get creative and reach out to someone with the gift of your friendship this Christmas.
The Gift of Encouragement
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
I know an amazing family in full time ministry – they are talented, intelligent, and very well liked. They serve in several different aspects of ministry from teaching, to playing music, to speaking to home school kids. But the main focus of their ministry? It’s people. They love people. They have a heart for people, they want everyone to hear the Gospel, and they want to encourage Christians to be growing in the Lord and they are constantly encouraging others to do just that. This year, I felt extremely blessed to be a recipient of their generosity and best of all – their encouragement.
There is just something about vibrant Christians. They are so refreshing. They exhort and they encourage. The family I’m speaking of did not know I needed encouragement. I didn’t ask for it and they didn’t offer it – but they gave it anyway. It came naturally for them. Oh, how I wish I could do that for others!
How about you? Do you encourage others or do you drag them down? Encouraging others is really very simple. You could…
- Offer a warm hug
- Pray with them
- Speak an encouraging word
- Write a note of encouragement
This Christmas, give someone the gift of encouragement.
The Gift of Joy
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…” Proverbs 17:22
This is many ways, is closely related to the last gift… somehow those who give the gift of encouragement usually manage to give the gift of joy as well.
Happy, joyful people are the kind of people I want to be around. We choose ingratitude and unhappiness so often that it’s such a treasure to find someone who is truly grateful and joyful. Just like an encouraging person, joyful people are refreshing.
How about you? When you are with other people – are you like a cloud that smothers the sunlight, or are you like the sun, warming and encouraging others with your enthusiasm and joy?
To give the gift of joy…
- Be happy and joyful yourself
- Think of your blessings and speak of your joys
- Laugh often
- Really, truly smile at others
This Christmas give others the gift of joy.
The Gift of Mercy
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, we stumble, we fall and we fail. I am so thankful for a God who has given me mercy and has forgiven me in spite of my shortcomings and failures. I am also thankful for the people who have extended mercy and forgiveness to me when I have failed them or disappointed them in some way.
Is there someone in your life who needs mercy? Someone who has disappointed you, hurt you, or completely and utterly failed you? You have the ability, with the Lord’s help, to give one of the greatest gifts of all… the gift of mercy. So forgive. Let go and move on.
- Pray – extending mercy and forgiveness is hard. Ask for the Lord’s help!
- Give them a warm and forgiving hug
- Talk to them (if you have been giving them the cold shoulder)
- Be friendly, kind, and loving
- Verbally tell them “I forgive you”
This Christmas, give someone the gift of mercy.
There are lots of gifts we can give to others this Christmas that cannot be bought but can still be freely given. Here is a list of more gifts to consider giving to others (and many of these are more valuable than the ones I mentioned above!).
→The Gospel – who do you know that needs Christ? Share the Gospel with someone. Spread the Good News and the REASON we celebrate Christmas!
- Love – who needs your love and acceptance this Christmas?
- Kindness – who would be touched by a kind a thoughtful act from you?
- Grace – who could use a little help and assistance during a tough time?
- Prayer – who do you know that’s in need of prayer?
- Scripture – who needs a little reminder of the promises inside God’s Word?
I Would Love to Know
- Which one of these gifts will you give to someone this Christmas?
- Which one of these gifts would you love to receive yourself?
- What other gifts can you give that cannot be bought?
Please share your thoughts and comments below! ♥