It’s my favorite time of the year, and I couldn’t be more excited! Everyone is busting out with their cute jackets, scarves and winter boots. There’s a rich smell of hickory wood in the air. Everywhere you go, there are flashes of green, red and glistening tinsel decorations… It’s almost Christmas time! With the approaching holiday season, people tend to feel more generous than usual. Lists are written out, packages are all shipped – and by the time New Year’s Eve arrives, we’re all broke! But what if we focused less on price tags this year and more on the heart? I guarantee you, the people on the receiving end of our gifts would be very appreciative!
And so I bring before you, 5 Christmas gifts that money can’t buy.
- Notes of Appreciation | Text messages and Facebook posts can be sweet, but I think we can all agree that they can easily become impersonal. What’s most convenient isn’t always the most thoughtful way to reach out to someone. What would mean infinitely times more than a public shout-out online is sometimes something as simple as sending someone a note telling them why they are special to you! Come on, who doesn’t like hearing that they’re appreciated?
- Sacrificing Your Time | All it takes is a little selflessness, you guys! Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is your time! Especially when there’s something that your loved one enjoys doing that you don’t particularly enjoy, it would mean so much if you sacrificed your valuable time just to be with them!
- Unexpected Compliments | I don’t think we fully understand the difference that one genuine compliment can make. If you notice something special about someone, just say it! Don’t assume that someone has probably already complimented them before. We’re all aware of the sweet feeling that comes with being genuinely complimented. It can truly make someone’s day!
- Invaluable Prayers | I can’t quite explain to you the joy my heart feels when someone tells me that they’ve been praying for me. I always think, with all the different things they have going on in their own lives, they took time out of their schedules to pray for my requests!? What a wonderful gift to receive! Simply asking for prayer requests (and following up on them) could be the greatest gift you give someone all year.
- Displaying The Fruit | No, not the plastic apples and bananas put out for decoration. I’m talking about the Fruit of the Spirit. Love people without hesitation. Be a source of joy, even when times get rough. Spread peace to those around you whose lives may be in turmoil. Be faithful in whatever ministry that God has placed you in. Be kind even when you don’t feel like it. Show patience when things aren’t going your way. Practice self-control when temptation is eating you up. Be good to those who don’t deserve to be treated well. Be gentle and sensitive to the needs of others. Think about it this way – The most important gift anyone could receive in their lifetime is the gift of life with Jesus Christ. By displaying the Fruit of the Spirit in your own life, you could give someone a glimpse as to what the character of Christ is like, and hopefully encourage them to want to know more.
Instead of trying to make this year’s gifts bigger, better and more expensive than last year’s, let’s take a moment to think about gifts that will actually impact lives. A Christmas gift is appreciated most on the day that it is opened. After the initial buzz, however, it just becomes another item that you own. But a gift like the ones I’ve listed above, touch the heart, and have a much longer lasting impact than any amount of wrapping paper or ribbon could cover.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Each one of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You should not give if it makes you unhappy or if you feel forced to give. God loves those who are happy to give.” | 2 Corinthians 9:6-7