Done shopping yet? I tend to wait until everyone else has finished so I can start. Each year, I re-think gift giving. Mainly because over the years I have watched how running up the credit cards affects the giver and the recipient. Here's what I observe: The recipient forgets who gave them what gift, the donor struggles for months to pay back creditors.
Gifts that REALLY GIVE
Here are some ideas that have a profound, lasting effect:
Phone calls. (No texting please)
Pick up the five-thousand pound phone and call someone that has had a part in your recovery, or your personal development. They will never forget you for that. They may not even know they made a difference in your life.
Call someone elderly that lost their mate, now alone. Or, maybe someone who lost someone close, a spouse, a child, or parents. That will be a marvelous gift they will remember.
Face to face, telling someone they are important goes miles with them. When someone pays you a compliment, it changes your entire day. Perhaps someone struggling to stay clean and sober needs a pick-me-up, and you telling them to hang in, they can make it, may be all that is needed to keep them from relapse. They will remember your gift of encouragement.
Random acts of kindness
Opening a door for someone, helping someone bag their groceries, visiting someone unable to get out of the house, helping the elderly next door...anything that comes to mind can change someone's day...definitely change yours. If you have a few extra bucks, buy the person's meal behind you at the drive thru, like McD's or Burger King.
Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus, happy birthday to You! (sing this)
God will smile when you do for others. Do little things anonymously is even a greater blessing. Doing it with joy because all He has done for you even pleases Him more. Joyful giving leads to joyful living.
This is contagious behavior, a great habit to form. People will not forget the gift, and who gave it to them. You will see the way God sees the hurting, the lonely, or people in general, for when you open your heart to them, He opens your eyes to Him. Bring Advent to others, be Jesus today to everyone...what a great gift idea.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!