Gift Giving Season

September 26, 2010

in the generous life

I went to an adoption celebration today (friends have adopted siblings).  The natural thing to do is buy a gift. You want to share in their joy and let them know how happy you are for them.

Then I started thinking about the holidays (our real estate agent gave us these cute Christmas stockings as a thank you gift).  There are hostess gifts when you visit friends, Christmas gifts for all your friends, family, co-workers, etc. and usually a birthday gift or two thrown in.  It’s really quite overwhelming and often pricey.

I’ve had to rethink gift giving (and encourage y’all to do likewise).  I want to be generous with my friends, but I don’t want to load them up with (perhaps) useless to them items and put them in the position to return in kind.  I’m leaning more to homemade gifts and especially those gifts that you can eat or use up in some way.  Unless my family or friends need a specific item, I’m more likely to give them a gift certificate to their favorite store, bake up some goodies, or make a unique Christmas ornament.  I also look for “family” gifts instead of “individual” gifts.  Your encouraging family time and cutting down the number and cost of gifts as well.

Where my husband is concerned, those principles still apply.  We’re trying to give each other more “experience” gifts (my favorite was a Hardanger class).  I think it’s also fun to give financially to ministries as a “gift”.  Knowing that your “gift” helped to give a village clean water is pretty cool.

Do take time out now, while you have the energy and time, to plan a gift list for the holidays. (Feel free to share your gift ideas as a comment.)

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  Burton Hillis

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Seaweedandraine September 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Great to see someone putting my thoughts into print! :) Last year our family decided that instead of buying pressies for everyone, we would donate the money to various charities (ours was purchasing 5 sewing machines for a school in India where they train widdows and the like in a trade so they can support themselves). For each other, we did simple things like growing plants, giving home grown dried herbs, baking, etc.

This year we are with my side of the family, and so I have decided to try and make something (not too expensive, but cool and useful) for everyone. This might even mean repurposing linen in the cupboard and giving it a new life as something else.
Keep the challenge going!
.-= Seaweedandraine´s last blog ..Christmas Stitching =-.

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Lauren September 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

A few charities my husband and I LOVE giving to are Gospel for Asia at http://www.gfa.org/ and Luo-Set Free at http://www.luo-setfree.org/. What great ministries!

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Sarah September 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm

My favorites are tickets to a movie or local college hockey game. That one was even requested to be repeated. I would add a word of caution into homemade ornaments though; I get one every year from each of my gradeschool age children and secretly, I am longing for the day I get to decorate a grown up exqusite tree that makes everyone go ahhh!
Thanks for the great blog, it keeps me motivated!

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DebBee September 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I know the main point was alternative gifts. May I also bring up the point of meaningful gifts (in light of the original “Christmas”)? Several years ago, I found an article online that examines the three wise men gifts, and gives practical suggestions for modern application of those gifts (gold, frankincense, and myrrh) … just three gifts a person, instead of piles.

I couldn’t find it online, but had saved a copy to my computer. I posted it on my blog: http://debflack.blogspot.com/2010/09/preview-to-christmas-giving.html
.-= DebBee´s last blog ..Preview to Christmas Giving =-.

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Jennifer September 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

A great site was recommended to me called blurb.com It is a book publishing and printing site. I love making books for family members that include photos and each time the recipient tells me how much the book is appreciated.

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Katherine September 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I have been looking over tons of websites for nice homemade gifts. The ones that I am most impressed by (and excited about) came from Martha Stewart. She has a TONE of homemade gift ideas that aren’t as “cheesy” or cheap looking as many other sites. I would really want to have a lot of this stuff in my home!

Just visit http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/gifts-for-her

Happy crafting!

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Debra Holloman September 30, 2010 at 8:59 am

Our family has been giving the “three gifts” of the wise men for several years now with our children. It has simplified our family’s Christmas so much. The kids know what to expect and also understand the meaningful connection between our receiving gifts and the Chrismas story. We also wrap the fits in colors suggestive of the wise men’s gifts (Myrrh – red; Frankincense – green; and Gold – gold)

My other suggestion was to give Teachers, coaches, etc. Thanksgiving gifts instead of Christmas gifts. This gets those gifts given and off the to do list for the busy Christmas season.

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The Generous Wife October 1, 2010 at 10:20 am

Thanks for all your ideas. Lori <><

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