Is it just me, or does Christmas come earlier every year? Some of you have been done with your Christmas shopping since Halloween, but others, like me, are still scrambling to find that special gift to let the people you love the most know just how much they mean to you.
To me, the amazing gift of Christmas morning—that frenzy of excitement and expectation—mirrors our wait for Christ’s return. But the giving of the gifts is one way we let our loved ones know that we see them, that we care about what makes their heart beat faster. It’s a picture of God’s love for us. Besides, it’s fun!
So, today I’m sharing some of my favorite gifts.
- I love to give gifts from my kitchen for Christmas. All that hard work of canning this summer really pays off when I give my friends the gift of homemade salsa, apple butter, or pickles (you’ll find recipes in the links). And if you are not a canner, why not whip up a fresh batch just to give as gifts? Your local supermarket always has the ingredients you will need. Your friends will taste the love you put into your recipes. What better way to say, “I treasure you”?
- The first time I went to Laity Lodge, I fell in love with the coffee Tim served us. Imagine how elated I was when I learned I could mail order Taste of San Antonio and enjoy that special blend right here in West Virginia. Now? Taste of San An is our house blend. I am spoiled for any other coffee. You can be spoiled to, or spoil the coffee lover in your life with the HEB coffee club. You’re welcome.
- And speaking of a Cajun Christmas, how about sending the one you love some pralines straight from the Savannah Candy Company? They’ll ship directly to your friend and I can vouch for this: delicious.
- What do you get for the grandparent who has everything? Check out this tutorial on how to make silhouettes. A few years ago, I made these for my mother-in-law of all of her grandchildren. I’ve even done this for a friend with his dogs. He loved it. It truly is a special, custom-made gift.
- Books. Well, yes, of course, I highly recommend Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World. But giving any book on Christmas is a beautiful thing. (Did you know Amazon is offering free shipping on orders placed through Friday, December 19, to ensure delivery by Christmas Eve?) Do you sign the books you give? Write a special message to the recipient? You must do so—the message will be treasured as much as the book in the years to come.
- What’s your favorite charity? Christmas is a good time to give a donation in honor of one of your loved ones. Every year, my boys shop in the World Vision gift catalog and make a donation in honor of their youth leader and our pastors. It’s a good thing to do.
- Finally, give a wish. Jeff and I stopped buying each other gifts years ago. One of our love languages is gift-giving, so we are always giving to one another. When Christmas giving started to feel stressful, we decided to rescue the magic. Now, every year, we grant each other a special wish. My favorite memory is the year I wished he would dance with me (we rarely do that anymore). On Christmas morning, when I was least expecting it, he put on the song we danced our wedding dance to and we did. We danced. Amidst wrapping paper and boxes and all that tinsel. It was a beautiful thing. So, be creative and have fun with it. It’s one of my favorite things.