For those of you who still have shopping to do,here are 10 last-minute gift ideas that don’t cost anything, but are worth much more than that ugly sweater from great-aunt Jemima (The one that is still sitting in the back of your closet!). These ideas work for every season, for any occasion, and for everyone on your list!
- The gift of ETERNAL LIFE. YOU actually can’t give this to someone, because only God has the power to save a soul. But you can show someone that they need this gift, and tell them how to get it! I had to put this first, because it is the most important. This is the best gift anyone can ever receive, and it is F.R.E.E.! It was paid for in full by the blood of Jesus, and anyone who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sin can receive it. PLEASE don’t let another Christmas go by without telling those you love about Jesus! It may be the last opportunity you have! Life is short, so let’s not waste time on things! PEOPLE are more important, and their eternity is more important than anything that you could wrap in a box! This what Christmas is all about: God’s Son Jesus coming to earth to take our sins upon himself, and pay for them with his blood so that we could be free from sin and death and live with Him forever! The best Christmas I ever had was the Christmas that I led someone to the Lord! BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!
2. The gift of LISTENING. Really listen! No interrupting or day dreaming or looking at the time. Just listening. Taking the time to care about what is inside someone’s heart makes them feel valued and cared for, and that is priceless!
3. The gift of LAUGHTER. Sometimes in the midst of the family drama that is sure to happen when someone decides to discuss the current politics, you just need something to lighten the mood, and bring sunshine to the storm that makes you want to run for cover! Swap jokes and funny stories, or show the video clip of the day that great-Grandma laughed so hard that her dentures fell out… (True story!!)
Or, wrap a plastic spider in a cardboard tube, cover that in wads of paper, and then smother it with 50 layers of grocery bags secured with duct tape, and place it in a box. Put that box in a larger box, and that box in a still larger box, etc., until you run out of bigger boxes. Wrap the final product in festive wrapping paper. Then sit back and enjoy the unwrapping process and the finale when they discover that it is only a plastic spider. This idea comes from my brother, who may or may not have wrapped gifts like this for several years in a row!
4. The gift of a COMPLIMENT. A simple, sincere kind word is a gift that so many would like to receive! Something like, “That was a wonderful meal.”, “You have a beautiful smile!”, “You look great in red.”, or “You are a kind person!” can make someone’s day! Please don’t lie or be sarcastic… 🙂
5. The gift of a HANDWRITTEN NOTE. It can be short and sweet or 10 pages long! That is up to you. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life! I have received several of these over the years, and I love getting them! I treasure these, and keep them in a box in my closet to review when I am down or having a hard day. The sweetest gifts have been from little ones who have written me notes or colored a picture for me! They don’t have much to give, but they give what they can and it is so precious!
6. The gift of SOLITUDE. There are times when we just want to be left alone. The Christmas season is hard for those who have lost loved ones, or experienced trauma on or near the holidays. Be sensitive to those times, and give people the space they need to heal. Holding your tongue is a hard thing to do sometimes (I speak from experience here…) but it is a gift to those who need some peace and quiet.
7. The gift of AFFECTION. Sometimes people just need a simple hug or pat on the back! The dreaded illness of yesteryear has caused so many to be afraid to share affection with those they love. I recently hugged an elderly lady at church who seemed lonely, and who kept to herself in the corner of the building. It brought tears to her eyes, and she said, “Thank you so much for that hug! It has been over a year since anyone hugged me, and I missed it so much!” Her family distanced themselves, and others around her thought that since she kept to herself she didn’t want contact. Y’all, I do not cry often, but that brought tears to my eyes! So ask, “May I give you a hug?” or extend your hand for a handshake or a high-five, and give someone the gift of personal connection! Be appropriate here, and only do this if you actually want to and if the feeling is mutual. Oh! And, um… if mistletoe is your thing, ‘tis the season!
8. The gift of a FAVOR. Go out of your way to do something kind! Hold the door, give up your seat, carry something for someone who is carrying more packages than your local parcel dispensation operative, or offer to help with the cleanup. Simple acts of kindness can do wonders!
9. The gift of a CHEERFUL DISPOSITION. Smile! (If someone can actually see your wonderful smiling face…!) It is really not hard to say “Hello!” or “Thank you!” Spread joy! (link) Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in and through you! I like to smile at everyone I meet in public, and see how many will smile back! Well, not everyone! Seriously though, imagine what would happen if you smiled and waved at the person who passed you on the one-lane road because you were driving at the speed limit, and they wanted to go 20 mph over… Or if you smiled at the person who cut you off in traffic, or the person who must have attached their horn to their brakes, or the 7 backseat drivers in the back of your minivan who are singing your least favorite song while listening to it at high volumes… (Okay, now I am confessing my sins here! True story!)
10. The gift of SERVICE. Wash the car. Mow the lawn. Do the dishes. Fold the laundry. Make your bed for once, or make someone else’s bed! Use your talents and make something creative, or teach someone how to do what you do. Sometimes the most meaningful things are the simplest ones!
I love to give and receive these things! Please comment below, and let me know which ideas you like the best, or which ones you would like to receive! Do you have any gift ideas to add to this list? I would love to hear them!