Thoughtful Giving

It’s easy in this season of giving to overspend on store-bought gifts that the receiver will likely not even remember come next Christmas. This year, instead of racking up the credit card bill with meaningless gifts, think about how you can express deeper love and care as you give gifts to your loved ones. What experiences can you share together? What are other ways you can add a personal touch to your gift-giving? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Memberships: to the zoo, a museum, or other local attraction. These are great family gifts, because they allow young families to take outings with limited cost.
  2. Tickets: to a concert, the theater, or a game. Go together and make memories.
  3. Classes: a cooking class date night for your spouse; an art class for your nephew – these are ways to support your loved ones in their interests.
  4. Handmade Gifts: Taking time to make gifts can be challenging (especially for non-artsy types), but homemade gifts are always valued and appreciated and express that the receiver was worth the time. Knit a scarf. Paint a picture. Build a side table. Have the kids make a personal ornament for grandma. Check out Pinterest for lots of ideas (here’s one list).
  5. Magazine Subscriptions: Kids and adults will enjoy receiving a gift that keeps on giving all year and this is one way to show that you have been listening and know what they are interested in.
  6. Outing: Take someone out to go ice skating, bowling, or to play mini golf. Have fun and enjoy each other.
  7. Charity Gift: Make a donation to an organization on behalf of a loved one who is passionate about it.

The best gift you can give to others is yourself. That’s what Jesus did for us. Our gifts are often insufficient, but showing others that we are really thinking about them, that we love them – and not just buying them the latest trend – will help them to see Jesus in us.

Here is another list of ideas of non-toy gifts for kids.

What thoughtful gifts do you remember receiving? Do you have other ideas for how to give thoughtfully?