A Rich Christmas on a Light Budget

I love Christmastime! I love every light, bell and cookie associated with the holiday. Still believing that the day holds a little magic, I never get tired of Christmas carols, and I don’t think that there is such a thing as too many decorations.

                I see Christmas as the day God gave us the best present ever. Easter was the day we opened the gift. Gift-giving is a way to imitate the God who was so generous with us. And God never went shopping – but instead gave His Son – an imperishable gift to top all others.

                Here’s an idea for celebrating Christmas this year: Honor God by imitating him.

              These are a few ways you can do this:

God creates.

              Imitate His creativity by making something. Bake cookies, make a batch of homemade bread, knit a sweater, create a scrapbook or make something that shows you put effort into it. These gifts are often better if there is little or no cost.

God remembers.

                Too many times, when I’ve realized how much a certain person helped or encouraged me, I try to look them up only to find they’ve moved on or passed away. Don’t wait! Make that call. Send the letter or e-mail you’ve been thinking about. It is a wonderful gift!

God provides.

              Find a need and fulfill it. It can be through a charity, within the church family or on your own. You could get a small gift card for a struggling family, hand out a couple of blankets to the homeless or spend a few hours doing home repairs for an elderly neighbor. If you take a slow look around, it won’t take you long to find a few people who need a little extra loving kindness this Christmas season.

God rewards.

              God rewards His people, even when we barely deserve it. Give a gift, small token or card to someone who would never expect it. It could be the person who pours your coffee, the cheerful cashier at the supermarket or the neighbor who always makes you feel welcome. If you want to really take the challenge, do the same for someone that you really don’t care for. You may experience unexpected results!

God glories.

              This is the most fun. Give a small token or card to someone who you believe would benefit from that acknowledgement. Do it in secret. Let God have all the glory. This is actually a selfish gift, because the benefit to you will be far greater than the expense of a small gift.

God cares.

              He has always shown His heart for the lonely, hurting and the outcast. The world will never be short of the widow, the recently divorced, the sick, the bedridden or the lost. Take a moment to show God’s love to them in any way that you can.

God spends time.

              Time is a tremendous gift! Spend some quality time with a person who has had a recent loss. The first holiday alone can be devastating. Or you can spend time with someone who lives alone or someone special within your circle. It would even mean so much to a child if their parent puts aside a chunk of their day just to be with them.

God gives hope.

                Invite someone who doesn’t know what the Real Present is to go to church with you. Have brunch. Share the best gift in the world with them.

                Choosing ways to honor God through the holiday season will be one of the best traditions your family will ever have, and one they will always remember.

 

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