Christmas season is one that comes once a year but seems to last for a good two months. It’s one of the only times you can be mauled over a talking toy and have someone anonymously pay for your dinner at the same time. Christmas has always intrigued me between these two different things- the battle between selfishness and selflessness. It’s tough. I really WANT Emma to have the things she wants, but at what cost? At what point do I say “no”, that someone else needed it more, or she doesn’t really need it at all? We are luckily at an age that Emma will take any gift we give her and grin, minus squash. She hates squash. What I want to focus on today is gifts you can give to others this holiday season. I hope this sparks some creative juices flowing and helps you as the holidays quickly approach (20 days!).
Give store bought. Now is the time that the stores are going nuts with people shopping for the holidays. It almost doesn’t depend on when you go either. If you go at 2am you’re just as likely to find as much chaos as you do at 7pm on a Friday night. It’s nuts. I would make a game plan before you go and find the place with the best deal. If you find somewhere with the best deal and you don’t want to go there (ie: Walmart for us) then bring their add to a competitor (ie: Target) and they’ll price match! You can also shop for great deals online at places like amazon, pick your plum, and more. We’ve found some great gifts and deals at online stores this year.
Give thrifted. If you have a lot of people to buy for this year or money doesn’t add up, consider hitting up a thrift store or two. Emma has several gifts this year from the thrift store and I don’t feel bad about it at all. We are giving her gifts that are great, just a little cheaper and a little loved. She will also get “new” gifts but we’re not above going to second hand stores for good deals, too. We could spent $100 on 2 gifts at a store or $100 on 15 gifts at a thrift store that Emma will love just as much. You can also find a lot of brand new items at a thrift store. True fact. It’s wild how many thrift stores you can find a brand new dress with the tags still on it or a toy in it’s box. Just be willing to take the time and look.
Give homemade. This year, we’re attempted the year of homemade gifts at the Linkous house. We are giving each person at least (1) homemade gift. We’re really excited about it, too. This is probably one of my favorite ideas. You can do anything from homemade ornaments to homemade lip balm and more! I have a whole section devoted to this on my pinterest if you’d like to friend me and check it out!
Give love. This may sound cheesy, but the reality is you can give your kids thousands of dollars in gifts but if you give it to them without love, they’re not really going to care. What kids want more than anything is for their parents to love and care about them, to treat them like they matter. That’s the most important thing. So even though you will probably buy at least one gift for your child, be sure to give them your love, too. Be willing to put down your work when you get home for a few hours. Take them out for dates and start young. JR took Emma out just last night for a daddy-daughter date night. It melts my heart. LOVE your kids. And your spouses. And your family. And your friends. And those that sometimes don’t deserve it. After all, we didn’t deserve the love bestowed to us at Christmas time, either.
Give time. Time is one of the best gifts you can give. EVER. We are so rushed and so busy in our lives that we don’t have time to breathe. We don’t have time to even blink, much less give time that we don’t have. What I’m saying is MAKE time. If you know that your mom has needed help painting a piece of furniture, make time for it. If you know that your dad has needed help cleaning out the gutters, make time for it. If you know that your child has been dying to learn how to ride their bike, make time for it. If you know that your spouse has been wanting to have a date night alone, make time for it. Time may not have a specific dollar amount attached to it but it costs more than any other gift you can give. Yesterday will never happen again and NOTHING can get that back. Give time this year!
Here are my ideas for giving this year at Christmas. Remember to be selfless this holiday season and model the most selfless thing ever done for us- God sending His son at Christmas time for freedom from our sins.
What are you giving this year for Christmas?