giftDo you struggle with gift-giving times?  Do you spend, buy, charge and/or rearrange your budget in November and December, and then have guilt or struggles in January and February?  Your head and heart say you want to give all your favorite friends and family members the best gift ever…But put it down on paper, and how can you afford to do that and pay your bills for the next two months?

Do you give gifts because your love language is gifts or giving, or is it because of obligation, acceptance, love, expectations or another motive?

Matthew 2:11, ” After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”  This is one of the most famous times of gift-giving.

We’ve all heard “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  Take time for others, and many times the gift of yourself can be the best gift you can give them.  As we age, or others in our life age, we and life get busier and busier – spending time with family and friends becomes more precious than ever.

God has called me to practicality.  He made me literal–very literal–so in my thoughts, that is how I process things.  I make a list of what I want to accomplish, then I make a list of materials needed. I narrow that down to what I already have on hand and what I need to purchase or make ahead of time.

Use your talents for your gift-giving, such as calligraphy, painting, arts and crafts, or baking.

  • Make a fruit basket
  • Travel basket for kids on the road
  • Game basket for a family (much more economical than giving a gift to each family member)
  • Relaxing basket – bubble bath, candle, bath salts, lotion
  • Movie night with rental gift cards and microwave popcorn or homemade caramel corn in a large popcorn bowl
  • Basket of homemade canned goods, homemade bread & jam or local honey.
  • If you make desserts or homemade candy – give a treat on a nice dish they can reuse.  You can buy these at the local estate sales or thrift stores
  • Make a nice fruit pie, banana or strawberry bread
  • Give a ham
  • Use your photography and buy or make a picture frame for a special picture
  • Give coupons for your services: babysitting for a young couple, dinner and a movie, a home-cooked meal or dessert and coffee
  • For the booklover – Amazon.com or Christianbook.com gift cards
  • Give a rosebush for a lifetime of roses if you can’t afford the dozen
  • Family recipe cookbook
  • Make a photo calendar or scan photos and place on a CD or DVD for viewing together, or a flashdrive for a digital picture frame for the person that has everything

Evaluate your reasons for giving, your heart and your budget. Then give freely of your talents, time, love and gifts.

This post was written by Paula Gowman. To read more about her, click here