Is that time of the year, and once again we are making our list for gift giving. In a society that is known for commercialism; especially during the holidays, sometimes is hard to be organic and original with our gift giving.
This year, I have done a complete 180 in my way of thinking when it comes to gift giving. For one thing, my wallet is not as abundant as in previous years, and my loved ones are spread all over the world (literally!). I’ve also become more in tune with the Great Commission and more giving towards real needs around my community and around the globe.
I am presently supporting a number of non-profit organizations as well as the ministries of my local church and several educational organizations. I find that I am more alive when I am giving rather than just receiving. But I have learned that giving doesn’t always require a monetary donation or a sacrifice, sometimes a kind word, a post card, a visit or a warm home cooked meal mean more than Gucci sun glasses or Jimmy Cho handbags (not that I own any-just saying).
Here is my personal list of organic, creative and cost efficient gift giving:
A. Home made Gift Certificates
(You decide the duration-hours, days, weeks, months, etc. and location)
- A babysitting service
- A Date night
- A cooking lesson/cooking lessons
- A house cleaning for a day or 2 for one month
- A car wash, tune up or oil change for his/her vehicle
- A girlfriend’s night out (you pay for dinner and a movie or coffee, etc…)
- A garage organization project (this would be a great gift for mom and dad-from the kids)
- A chauffeur for a weekend or week (not hiring one, you being the one)
- A day off (this would be great for mom or dad-from the kids)
- A manicure/pedicure done by you
- Hair coloring, cutting or styling done by you
B. Home made crafts/goodies
- A heartfelt letter or poem framed or laminated
- If you are artistic and know what you’re doing: Pottery, painting, drawing, jewelry, knitting, etc…prepared for display, framed, laminated, encased or ready to be worn.
- A theme basket with home made items (Google how to make the items you want to put in it if you are not sure how to)
- A memory box (insert items from your childhood or from a special time or event that would be meaningful to the receiver)
- Canned/jar goods or Home baked goodies
- A Christmas wreath decorated with meaningful items
- Home made candles/soap/lotions, etc…
- Home made treats for the family pet
- A pretty bouquet with flowers from your own garden
- A gift ordered from a charity organization (i.e. TOMS shoes, Charity Water, etc…)
- A scholarship to help with expenses to a missions, or charity type of trip
- Sky miles towards the receiver’s desired charity or to help with travel cost for a planned trip
- Making a donation on behalf of your loved one towards his/her favorite charity organization
- Scholarship for school/college
- A personalized video with shots of your loved one participating in their favorite charity
- A slide presentation on Christmas day with your loved one’s charity of preference and their involvement in it through out the years
- A recorded voice or video clip message from the president of your loved one’s charity of preference
- Gather a group of volunteers and donate a day or a few hours of work towards your loved one’s favorite charity organization.
If you are thinking you have to spend money, you can go the less costly route with gifts like: A pretty scarf, A special book, Clothes/shoes (Tip: If you know your loved one is preparing for a trip to a warm region, now is a perfect time to shop discounted or on-sale summer items), candles, gift cards for coffee or ice cream (Range from $5.00-whatever you want it to be), a favorite DVD, a decorative item for the home (check out overstock.com and/or ebay), candy or fruit/nuts basket, and movie tickets, among others.
The holidays are usually a stressful time for everyone, but it shouldn’t be that way. Try to have a more relaxing and enjoyable holiday season this year. You do that by thinking differently about gift shopping and gift giving. You also do that by refocusing on the things that have real value in life. Enjoy your time with your family, take long walks together, bake or cook together and pamper each other with love. After all this season is about remembering God’s greatest gift to humanity; His love wrapped in a little baby; Jesus!-