As parents, we dream of setting up the perfect Christmas morning. We long to share priceless memories with our families while celebrating Jesus as God’s precious gift.
The tangible practice of giving presents can help us relate to the holiday’s emotional and spiritual truths. However, preventing the physical tradition from taking priority over its spiritual meaning can be challenging. Human nature has a way of distorting our view of faith matters, even when we’re celebrating Christian holidays. While striving to inspire joy in our loved ones, we can unwittingly pivot our focus from faith-centeredness to materialism.
As Christian parents, we may struggle with how to share Christmas joy without trapping ourselves in impossible cycles of debt. Advertisements for shiny new toys and luxurious gifts bombard our households throughout the season. Consumerism insists that extravagant gifts will insure against a Christmas morning ruined by disappointment. Our culture recommends purchasing plenty of happiness to fill the space under our holiday trees.
Yet aiming to satisfy everyone’s wish list proves stressful, if not impossible, for the family budget. Before we realize the shift, we’ve turned from rejoicing in our ultimate gift to fretting over the traditions meant to honor it. Our hearts crave the Christmas morning filled with expressions of delight on each loved one’s face. But fears of failure, disappointment, and financial strain turn our focus away from love.
Christ came to dispel the darkness of fear, not with a promise to satisfy wishes. He offered himself as the ultimate gift to bless all generations. When we follow his model in choosing how to honor Christmas in our families, we can celebrate the season with soul-centered gifts worth more than gold.
Consider the following heartfelt gifts and establish memories instead of debt this Christmas:
Personal gift ideas value the recipient’s heart.
Note your loved ones’ interests, preferences, and strengths. Gather the characteristics you esteem most about each family member and create a keepsake gift. Examples include a valet box, ornament, or wall hanging decorated with words and images describing the gift recipient.
Legacy gift ideas provides a keepsake the recipient can share with generations to come.
Research your genealogy and create a scroll or chest decorated with the family crest. Fill a treasure box with heirloom books or cherished items from early childhood years.
Handmade gift ideas show you care enough to spend a resource more valuable than money – time.
Create a personalized journal with an inscription. String quilled paper, oven-baked clay pendants, or craft store beads into custom jewelry. Upcycle well-loved articles of clothing or blankets into handbags, pillows, and totes. For recipients who live outside your household, offer homemade food baskets. Include items like spiced tea mix, candies, and perhaps a booklet of family recipes.
Experiential gift ideas offer unforgettable memories that deepen your relationships.
As you tailor the experience for your loved one, consider the following suggestions:
- Plan a day-long outing to engage in a favorite diversion (pottery painting, rock collecting, shelling, e.g.).
- Visit a special place and take a day or weekend trip to your birthplace, a spiritually significant spot, or a museum featuring your loved one’s favorite subject.
- Schedule faith mentoring sessions with a child or teen. Set specific, regular times to get away from distractions and discuss spiritual growth topics. Visit an ice cream shop or local park. Then, present the gift inside a Bible and/or journal.
- Getaways can include budget-friendly options. From glamping in the backyard to off-season vacation rentals, look for creative ways to connect with nature and one another without spending a fortune. Package these gifts with handmade cards, including photos of your destination. Consider adding riddles or secret “doors” on your gift cards for extra fun touches.
- Adventures might exist closer to home than you think. You could plan prayer walks around your community. Also, kayaking, fishing, or boat rentals serve as great options if you live within a few hours of water. Your family could explore the nearest caverns or go on nature hikes in nearby parks. Offer a list of animals or plants to discover on your local safari.
- Plan a mystery party or scavenger hunt for your child or teen. Allow them to invite a certain number of friends. Set up a geocache, mystery plot, or list of items to collect in your home or neighborhood. For teens, you could host the party at a public location. Present the gift box with the premise and dollar-store props supporting the theme.
- Upgrade your child’s bedroom to suit their special talent or career interest. Create a gift box including a certificate of services promised, along with paintbrushes, wall hooks, and stencils.
Add scriptures and personal blessings to maximize the meaning of all your gifts. With each Christmas exchange, let’s remain thankful for the opportunity to give from the blessings we’ve enjoyed.
For more budget-friendly gift ideas:
About Tina Yeager:
Publicity representative for Raising Christian Kids, Tina Yeager, LMHC also hosts the Flourish-Meant Podcast and Flourish Today radio show. Award-winning author and speaker, Yeager offers life coaching, purpose coaching, speaking, and more at tinayeager.com. Her books include Upcycled: Crafted for a Purpose and Beautiful Warrior: Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You.
Follow Raising Christian Kids On: