Holiday Gift Idea 15 (My True Meaning of Christmas)

withchild.jpgBeing that today is Sunday, and as a Christian, my 2nd to last gift idea will be religiously themed:

Christmas, after all, is a celebration of Christ’s birth; that “the Word was made flesh,” as John wrote. It is a celebration of the great step in God’s plan for the salvation and redemption of man.

I blogged earlier this year that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of its gift-less gratitude, and in recent years I have been the “scrooge” of the family, poo-pooing the materialism and gimme attitude that seemed to accompany each holiday season. Perhaps it was because of the poverty I experience in Brazil, or maybe it was just because I couldn’t ever seem to come up with an idea for any present anyone could give me that I would actually enjoy receiving.

Today, I have changed my mind. Christmas, I have decided, would be incomplete without the gift giving. I believe that gift giving in the correct way is critical to achieving the “true spirit of Christmas.”

Why do I say this when gifts seem to be the most prevalant evidence of the “commercialism” of this season? (Which I still think is a problem.)

I have come to a realization that true gift giving is not simply a celebration of the bounty of the year. It’s not fulfilling each other’s needs and wants. It’s not being surprised or thrilled on Christmas morning. It’s not giving to charities or causes to feel better about ourselves, or get a break on the imminent tax return. It’s not about waking up early and seeing what the ‘haul’ is this year.

Gifts, at the most basic level, are tangible expressions we make one toward another. Some gifts express romance (think of the jewelry commercials), others express friendliness. Some we give in hopes to receive reciprocal gifts, and yet others we give to show our creativity or to see the look of surprise on the recipient’s face.

The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas didn’t start with the 3 wise guys who travelled from a long way hauling precious metals and spices, as many would ascribe it to. The tradition of giving begins in John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

God was the first to give a gift at Christmas time. The gift he gave was his Son. The motive behind the gift was love.

Christ then grew and fulfilled his mission. He gave the greatest gift of all, his expiating sacrifice, which inexplicably and miraculously pays for our human flaws, drawing us back to God and his perfection.

These two gifts, gifts of true love, are gifts of self.

So this year at Christmas, consider giving an extra gift; give back to God the one thing we have to give, the only thing doesn’t come from Him in the first place and is truly ours to give; your will. Give something of yourself, your time, your life over to him. He promises that ‘he who loses his life for [His] sake will find everlasting life.’

…and it’s true.

Holiday Gift Idea 14

Well, we are into the 3 final days of shopping before Christmas. I am now all done with my shopping, and I’ll be avoiding stores as much as possible between now and January 1st.

However, if you are one of the unlucky few who still have gifts left to purchase, can I make a few final suggestions:

  1. Stay away from Wal-mart at all costs.
  2. Don’t go to Wal-mart no matter what.
  3. Keep away from any store named Wal-mart.

Thank you and goodnight.

Holiday Gift Idea 13

Magic 13 is a special one.  It’s not a gift, per se.  It’s more of a concept…



I know this can be taboo, but what else are you going to do with all the stuff you get that you don’t want?  I suppose if the person was “modern” enough to include a gift receipt, you can return it for the cash, but then when you have to turn around and find a gift for someone else, you have to put in all this thought and effort..

All that gets easier with re-gifting. Not only do you save money, and give life to sometihng you would never use or don’t care for, you also save yourself the pain and agony of having to THINK about another gift.

Holiday Gift Idea 10

Rounding out the list at #10 is one of my perrenial favorites…


A gift basket!

Just remember, when you don’t know what to get someone, nothing says “I love you” quite like a bunch of junk food.

You can easily and cheaply make your own gift baskets.  And don’t put in all that expensive stuff that no one knows or likes.  Get the yummy cheap candy that’s on sale, and then buy a basket that’s one size smaller than you think you’ll need.  Then it will look like it’s overflowing!

Also prerequisite in EVERY gift basket is Easy Cheese.

To go along with this one, I’m lumping in “the Panettone.”


Also known as the ‘holiday fruit cake,’ this is a perennial favorite for some, but hated by most.  News flash: they are making less nasty versions of this now.   Try the ones with chocolate chips or other things than fruit.