One Less Gift

The last few years, in November, my church hands out a flyer regarding a concept called “One Less” (last year it was Advent Conspiracy).

Stressmas
Impersonalmas
Checklistmas
Consumermas
Trafficjamas
Gotta-buy-everyone-a-gift-even-though-I-can’t-afford-it-mas.

This year, let’s try

[Less spending.]
[More relational giving.]
[More resources to help those who need it most.]

They have four suggestions, but also encourage everyone to be as creative as one can be!

** Angel Tree for a child of a prisoner here in Nevada.
** Pick up an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
** Help buy a clean water well with Living Water
** Give to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada

Other charities you may want to support:

Samaritan’s Purse
World Vision
Compassion International

A few of the ones I like:

Nevada Humane Society.
Veteran’s Guest House in Reno, NV.
Kids Kottage.

Gift Ideas for Relational Giving.

A fun certificate for the gift of your time:

* bring popcorn, gourmet root beer and a classic DVD for a movie night with a friend.
* host a Monday Night Football and make homemade pizzas.
* wrap two copies of a classic book to read together.
* bundle up and take a walk through the Christmas-lit streets.

Your gift of creatively serving:

* babysit for your worn-out sister-in-law.
* yard work for an elderly person.
* road trip for an out-of-town adventure with your child.
* change the oil in a neighbor’s car.
* help your friend build their shed, clean their garage or closets, etc.

A day together doing something someone else cares about:

* take a trip to the batting cages.
* go on a hike, with your camera and your photographer friend, you bring lunch.
* volunteer at their favorite charity.

A gift you made with your kids:

* simple scrapbook of time you’ve spent with the person you’re giving it to.
* photo album of your kids for a far-away family member.
* home-published story, written and illustrated by your kids. The time spent creating it is priceless to the recipient as well as the kids.

Ask “What do they like to do?” and make time to do it with them.

******

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8 responses to “One Less Gift

  1. Love these ideas. We’ve been scaling back for several years now. Co-workers get homemade apple butter or candy, this year we’re doing a big family gift rather than a bunch of little stuff. Simple is so much better.

  2. Love this post! We use to always do the angle tree and operation Christmas tree with our 4H clubs. Now my mother in law and I make food and homemade gifts to hand out to the locals.

  3. Another great gift choice I’ve used (and I’m sure you have similar ones) is Oxfam Unwrapped. You make a donation and get a card showing what you’ve bought – which can be a toilet, or a goat or a buffalo for a community in need. Then you can present the card to the lucky recipient and say: “Look, I got you a toilet.” A friend of mine exchanged toilets with her sister for Christmas a couple of years ago and the humorous aspect just made it better. It’s also a great way to break the cycle of giving physical gifts and the sense of obligation that can bring.

  4. Jen and April, yes…love the homemade goodies for gifts.

    This year is definitely scaled back to one store bought gift for my niece and nephew….the rest is handmade and charities.

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