Monday, December 20, 2010

Giving More this Christmas

our church is participating in the Advent Conspiracy this Christmas season...
a grass roots movement to change the focus of Christmas
focusing on
[Worship Fully]
[Spend Less]
[Give Move]
[Love All]
and a tag line of
Christmas can [still] change the world

lots of info and don't want to start a sermon here, but I did want to share some ideas....
the whole concept of
spend less-give more...
feels sort of like an oxymoron, but it's not...
the more might be less money,
but more thought,
more emotion,
more of yourself....

this can be kind of a hard thing to do for some...
they might feel like they aren't very creative so they can't create something to give...
well, I just wanted to share some ideas of giving more
give the gift of pictures....
    *make a mini photo album for someone....great gift for grandparents or parents
    *frame a special picture for someone
    *give a gift certificate for a photo shoot...
          ~could be a family shoot (multiple generations) or
          ~a gift for a senior in high school or
          ~for new parents
     if you live locally in Redding there are a ton of great photographers...
          but I love Betsey Walton

give the gift of jewelry...okay, just don't freak out here...
*I know jewelry can be pricey, but not all jewelry is spendy, and some can have special meaning
I just gave the girl child a mother/daughter locket for her 10th was only $20 at Target, and she LOVES it, I printed of some teeny tiny pictures from our computer of her when she was a baby and one of the two of us together when she was about 18 months old...and put them in the locket...(that was a labor of love, it's tricky getting pictures into those things!)..
*I also have some friends with some great inexpensive jewelry on their etsy sites...check them out....
Mrs. Smith sells fun bottle cap pendents and bird nest necklaces @ TheSmithHotel
this one is on her site...I have two bottle cap pendents
both with my kids names found on maps!
Zizi has some cute little earrings and hair clips that are just so sweet @ The Green Mum
I bought this pair for the girl child for Christmas!

and Lisa also has some great custom pieces...I'd ask Lisa for a gift certificate so your loved one could design their own piece...and because it's probably a little too late for her to make anything custom before Chistmas!...check out her stuff over @ Juella Designs 
such a sweet gift for a mother or grandmother!

the gift of health
sounds hard...but you can do multiple things...
*you can offer to become a work out partner for a family member or friend...
*work out gear (new shoes, new running pants, bike helmet)
*membership to a gym (okay that might be pricey...but it'd be a great gift for someone that might not need much!)
*pay for the entry into some 'event' marathons & triathalon & all of those things cost $$$
*help someone plan healthy meals and menus and offer to take them shopping
*a pass to a National/State Park for a year-to get them out hiking, biking, swimming...

the gift of food
*make a nice meal for someone
*offer to 'teach' someone how to cook that might not know how...maybe give them a few different hand made 'gift cards' with 'for one meal of your choice', 'lesson for one crock pot meal', 'good for one candy baking session', 'redeem to learn the art of pie baking' get the idea...
*grocery shopping for a month...sounds crazy...but what a gift to a mom, tell her that you just need cash and a list and you will do her grocery shopping (including unpacking and putting away said groceries) for a month...(make sure you know if they do their shopping every week, every 2 weeks, etc...and do it FOR them however if works best, I know I can't shop for an entire month, my fridge and freezer just can't handle that much food!).  and know their store of choice if you're using THEIR money you need to stay on budget even if that means shopping at a store you wouldn't choose...
*gift card to a grocery store
*gift card to a restaurant
*type up a recipe book of your favorite recipes

the gift of service
*free babysitting
*teaching someone to drive
*lawn/garden service

relational gifts
these are so varied and so personal but amazing gifts for the person that receives them...
two examples that our daughter just got for her birthday
*daddy gave her a 'gift card' for a date night that included dinner at her favorite restaurant and viewing of a movie that she's been wanting to watch since she was 4 and we told her she had to wait until she was 10 (a 1950's horror flick, Tarantula)...she's still talking about the date!
*her aunt Julie gave her a 'gift card' for a 'spa day'...she took Madison to Target to pick out polish of her choice (in a specific price range, WOW polish can be spendy!)...and then gave her a manicure, pedicure and facial...
Madison felt so treasured by this gift, she knew that her aunt was choosing to spend this time with her and she loved every minute of it!

There are so many gifts of MORE out there that have you spending less, but thinking more about the person, and giving more of yourself rather than something that will just end up in the garage or closet....

so I challenge those of you who haven't finished your shopping yet, to step out of the box and figure out how to give more to the people on your list!


Mr. Smith said...

Wow - great sermon...I

Linda said...

Those are absolutely wonderful ideas! And the person receiving will undoubtly feel the gift comes from your heart.
A different kind of giving that can be heartwarming is to help serve holiday meals at a homeless shelter, church or other organization who provides meals. Go through your closets and pull out the multiple clothing you never wear and take it to the Salvation Army, St Vincent dePaul or another organization who provides free clothing to the low income or homeless.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Krystle said...

The photo thing is what we typically do every year now. Either a CD for like 3 bucks so they can print their own, or a couple prints from Costco. That's really all they want now and it lasts forever :)