Relational Giving.

If you were to ask almost anyone about what Christmas means, you will undoubtedly hear something about gifts. For most of us, even children, Christmas is a time of giving and receiving.

I remember in Elementary School making handmade crafts to give to my mom every year. While many would laugh at the construction paper cards or the hand-sewn pillow I made in Third Grade, these gifts meant the world to her. Fast-forward and 20 years later, somehow Christmas has become about what I can spend.

According to the American Research Group, in 2008 the average American spent $431.00 on Christmas gifts. The ARG estimates that this year we’ll each spend $417.00. For most of us, that’s $417.00 we don’t have, thus putting us in debt. Can you remember what you got for Christmas last year? Probably not. What if instead of going into debt and giving often meaningless gifts, this year we gave relationally?

“The WORD became flesh, and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14 | The Message)

Immanuel. God with us. What an amazing thought captured in a simple name. The heart of Advent is to prepare to celebrate this awesome truth: God came to us. God’s gift was Himself. God’s gift to us was relational.

What would it look like for us to give relational gifts to honor and celebrate God’s relational gift to us? What would be more honoring to Christ at Christmas then doing what He did? As He gave Himself relationally to us, we can give ourselves to others.

How do you give relationally? Here’s 15 ways to give relationally of yourself this Christmas:

  1. Write a handwritten letter.
  2. Create a piece of art.
  3. Bake and deliver homemade cookies to a Fire/Police Station.
  4. Eat lunch with an old friend.
  5. Drink coffee with a new friend.
  6. Knit a sweater or scarf for an elderly person.
  7. Donate blood in honor of a friend or family member.
  8. Volunteer your time to a local Food Bank or Ministry in honor of someone.
  9. Invite a family over for dinner.
  10. Deliver a homemade pie to a neighbor.
  11. Read to children or an elderly adult.
  12. Go Christmas caroling with friends.
  13. Babysit so a young couple can have a date night.
  14. Take a friend to a movie or concert (spend time together).
  15. Walk though the woods with a friend or spouse and enjoy a meaningful conversation.

How are you planning to give of yourself relationally this Christmas? Share your ideas by commenting above.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. joshjcox says:

    I like this, alot. People are touched by the monetary generosity shown during the holidays. How much deeper is the capacity to touch lives when the generosity is with one’s life?

    I think it’s funny, I was actually mulling over this idea while we were in Ohio. I guess that’s even more evidence to the fact that we are cut from the same cake?..

  2. great post,
    we can also give our “presence” this season as I discuss in my blog http://nosmokeandmirrors.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/merry-christmas-give-the-gift-of-presence-this-year/

    Mark Allen Roberts

  3. JANIE says:

    i REALLY LOVE WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN. IT IS SO TRUEFUL, GOD GAVE US HIS SON. COULD ANY OF US DO THAT FOR ANYONE? I KNOW I COULDN’T, I HAVE FIVE SONS AND HAVE POUNDERED MANY TIMES ON HOW MUCH LOVE WAS IN THAT PRECIOUS GIFT FROM OUR ABBA. THE BEST MEMORIES FOR ME ARE ONES OF HAND MADE GIFTS. YES, I SAVED EACH PRECIOUSE ONE FROM MY SONS WHEN THEY WERE IN SCHOOL. NOW THE BEST GIFT, IS TO SEE THEM AT HOME WITH ME, CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES WITH OUR ENTIRE FAMILY. TWO OF MY SONS ARE WITH GOD AND I HAVE TO REMEMBER TO BE HAPPY AND KNOW ONE DAY ALL FIVE PIECES OF MY HEART WILL BE TOGETHER AGAIN AND WITH THE ONE WHO GAVE HIS ALL TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF US. PRAISE GOD!

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