Saturday, December 26, 2015

Thoughtful Christmas Gifts

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). This biblical truth is especially evident at Christmastime, as we are all eager to find the perfect presents for our loved ones.

This year, instead of trying to come up with gift ideas at the last minute, I started a list on my phone that I have added to periodically since my wedding in June. When it came time to purchase presents, I had thoughtful, unique options for most of our family members.

Mr. Handsome and I celebrated two Christmases, one with his family and one with mine. The picture to the left shows my in-laws' tree just before we opened our gifts. With two parents, seven kids, two children in-law, one granddaughter, and one boyfriend, there were 13 of us.

It may seem that there was an overwhelming amount of presents under the tree, but we didn't spend an overwhelming amount of money.

My husband's youngest brother wrapped up several of his favorite devotion books to pass on to his younger siblings. My mother-in-law made a dozen freezer meals for her second-oldest son who lives alone and has limited culinary skills. Anne (my oldest sister-in-law) and I found a number of gently used Christian books on Amazon for as little as $3.00 each.

What does your family do at Christmastime to place a greater focus on giving than receiving?

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous12/27/2015

    In the Netherlands (where I live), we don't really celebrate christmas with presents. The presents come with Sinterklaas, a day (5 december), where Sinterklaas (=Saint Nicholas) comes from Spain to give all the good kids presents. Fun fact: Santa Claus actually came from Sinterklaas. When the kids are older, everyone makes something that fits the personality from who they picked with secret santa. In this thing, they place the present (which doesn't have to be expensive at all, mostly between 10 and 15 euros ($10.97 and $16.46)). It's very fun, and because you have to give and make something for only one person, it's a goal for everyone to do it perfectly.
    With christmas, my family goes to church on christmas eve (24 december), then we eat a big meal, which contains everyones work. At 25 december we go to church again, but because there are a lot of people who go to church only on christmas and eastern, we mostly do something in the scenes, like crèche (me), or prepare the church (my dad, this is necessarily because we go to church in a primary school, so there aren't standard sits or something).
    I hope everyone have had a very blessed christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your Christmas traditions! I am blessed to have you as a reader from the Netherlands. :)

      Ellie

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  2. Anonymous12/27/2015

    Hello Ellie,
    In my family, my siblings and I make a present to our mother, who is now a widow and we make reasonable presents to our children and nieces and nephews. Ten years ago, my siblings and I decided that, instead of buying gifts to each other, we would save the money for charities. And it's not a sacrifice for us because to see our mother and the children to be delighted by the presents we chose carefully, is a greatest gift. And I agree with you, used items and practical gifts may be wonderful presents.
    Please read this without the mistakes :-)
    Best wishes from France, Anne

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anne,

      That is wonderful that you and your sibling donate money to charities instead of buying gifts for each other. And it much be such a joy for your mother to receive thoughtful gifts from her children.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

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  3. Anonymous12/27/2015

    Nice lists you made during the year!

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  4. Anonymous12/27/2015

    It would be neat to see an updated picture of our other favorite blogger -your mom, Lily!

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    Replies
    1. Alrighty! I'll have to post one. :)

      Blessings,
      Ellie

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  5. Anonymous12/27/2015

    This year our children bought gifts for each other at the gently used toy sale at our school's Christmas craft fair. They loved finding the perfect gift for each of their siblings. They also helped make jams and preserves throughout the summer so that they could give friends and family homemade gifts at Christmas.

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    Replies
    1. I love the idea of giving homemade jams and preserves. Last year, my husband (who was then just my boyfriend) and I made homemade BBQ sauce for family and friends.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

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  6. Anonymous12/27/2015

    For my parents and in-laws this year, I gave them money so they could go out for a nice Christmas brunch together the Saturday before Christmas. They always say they don't want or need anything, so I thought money to go out to eat would be nice. My mother-in-law told me they talked for a long time and had a very nice visit together.

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  7. When my kids was little I would take them to a local dollar store and they would shop for everyone on there list. With everything being a $1 in the store they could pick up anything they thought that person might like. I didn't have to say no that is to much money, you can't get that. They loved it. We still go to that store to buy presents, they have some nice stuff for a dollar. Maybe next time some of your readers might go to a Dollar Store. I hope you had a great Christmas and have an awesome New Years. I hope all your dreams come true. Sherrie

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  8. Anonymous12/30/2015

    We stopped celebrating Christmas a few years ago. Jeremiah 10

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