Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best Christmas Gifts You Could Give Your Family This Year

Most of us have spent countless hours and energy trying to find just the right gift at least for those we love the most. Other gifts have been perhaps more obligatory and in some cases perhaps we didn't even care that much.

However, a number of us have missed some of the most obvious and yet valuable gifts we could ever give. And they don't require huge sums of money, credit card payments or sets of directions. Let me suggest a few.

First, this year give the gift of your time. Gary Chapman suggests in his now classic book, The Five Love Languages, and in various versions of it that focused time is a key way that most people feel loved. So this year give your spouse, your kids, a friend or neighbor some meaningful time with you. Time doing what?  It depends on the person but it might include conversation (especially listening), doing something they like, just focusing on them for a while.

Second, this year give the gift of the story.  The what?  Yes, the story.  First, share the Christmas story.  That is the holiday, isn't it?  Christmas, Jesus, the manger, the splitting of the calendar - it all happened. It's the core of history and yet most of our movies and Christmas specials are only about reindeer, Santa, lights and presents.  But secondly, tell some more of your own stories.  Perhaps talk about Christmases you enjoyed or special events in your life when you were growing up.

Third, this year give the gift of less.  Christmas sadly has become all about us and often we give our kids more and more so they expect more and more. Try giving less to them and together offer more to others. Give some of your money away to a non-profit or overseas mission or charity. Buy a goat, pig or cow for someone in a deprived country so they can have sustenance all year long. Places online like World Vision and Samaritan's Purse make it easy to do.

Fourth, this year give them some new memories.  The above three suggestions might be a start. But perhaps you could add some new Christmas light viewing, a story time with special treats or a movie that you've not seen before about Christmas. One of our favorites is The Polar Express and it has some interesting spiritual overtones that are worth noting and talking about.

Use your own creativity but my hunch is that it will be these things that your family remembers far longer than any special material gift.  And you don't have to wrap them!
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! New memories could also be encompassed by inviting someone to join you for lunch that has no family or can't be with their family. (allows your family to serve while at the same time celebrating)