Friday, December 14, 2012

Frugal Friday: Meaningful Gift Giving

I first want to share a post that I wrote a few years ago on our family blog:
"Giving is always important, but the Christmas season tends to bring out the desire in us to give even more. When we act on that desire to give and share with others, we feel good inside. That feeling is often described as the spirit of Christmas. While giving is better than not, meaningful giving is even better. Some ideas of meaningful gifts include:
    • Gifts that satisfy a need
    • Acts of service, giving of yourself
    • Gifts that show your love or support
Here's an experience that happened to me when I was in college that taught me a lot about meaningful giving. It was the Christmas season which of course means that it's also finals time and students are very busy. I woke up one day very sick. I was supposed to study with a study group later on that day, but I was too sick to even get out of bed. All of my roommates had left earlier that morning so I was alone. I went back to sleep and woke up a few hours later to the phone ringing. It was my study group calling to find out where I was. I told them I wouldn't be able to make it because I was sick. A little while later, I heard a knock at the door and there was my study group. They brought me some food and did all the dishes in the sink. After making sure I didn't need anything else, they left to study. It was such a simple gesture, but it meant a lot to me. My friends took care of my needs - they brought me food, they served me by doing the dishes, and most important, they showed their love and support to me. Their gift of love to me was akin to the love shown by Jesus Christ to those around him. Jesus was always about doing good and serving his fellowmen. He performed acts of meaningful service and love everywhere he went.
Sometimes it's hard to think of meaningful gifts. It takes time and effort to find out needs and try to meet them. There are plenty of reasons and justifications that we can come up with for not giving. But giving is what we should do. No matter how much we have or don't have, we can always give. Sometimes the best gifts are as simple as a kind word or a smile. Let's cultivate and attitude of giving this Christmas season and look for meaningful gifts that will bless those around us."
I've been thinking a lot about meaningful gift giving. My youngest son and I were talking a few weeks ago about the reason for Christmas. He told me that the reason for Christmas was the gift that Jesus gave to us. And then he said, "But I don't remember opening that gift." We talked about how this gift that Jesus gave didn't come wrapped up under the Christmas tree like other gifts we receive at Christmas time. And yet that gift is more important than any other gift we could receive. Our Savior's gift was just what we needed, showed pure love and was truly a gift of Himself.

I invite you to remember the true reason for Christmas this year and to open your hearts and give meaningful gifts. Gifts of time and of love. Gifts of peace and brotherhood. Gifts of teaching and listening. Gifts of smiles and gifts of patience. These are the true gifts that our families, our neighborhoods and our communities need more than any token gift that could be bought, wrapped, and placed under the Christmas tree. In our rush to fill the void under the tree, lets not create a void in our hearts. By simplifying the tokens under the tree, we have more time and energy and patience to spend with the ones we love the most.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that joy and that love will fill your hearts and homes and families!

Linked to: Frugal Friday

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