One Free Gift You Can Give This Season ……
My children are coming to grips with the idea of getting rid of some things. We won’t be taking all of their toys to Honduras. So my seven year old, packed a small backpack with his “favorites.” And put it in his closet. He doesn’t want to forget anything.
Inside? A few small plastic figures, a blanket, and his Hulk stuffed toy. That’s it. No expensive legos or Star Wars toys. Only a few of his prized possessions, which end up not really costing a lot. When we want to give gifts to our family and friends, we think only in terms of cost. The money involved is usually how we price gifts.
When we can’t afford the nice gifts, we think we are cheating our children if we don’t buy them the nice gifts. But are we? We can’t give them nice gifts, but we can give them lasting gifts. Gifts of gratitude, perspective, and cultivating relationships are even more important than the expensive new iPhone.
I can gift my children these three things, and they are all FREE.
Praise. So many times I miss opportunities to praise those around me. To tell them how proud I am of them, and to point out all of the ways they are succeeding. I miss it, and I’m sorry when I do. I’ve seen the power of praising someone else for their accomplishments. I tend to focus on mistakes, but this season I’m looking for ways to praise my children.
Perspective. Through simple conversations, we can start to instill a heart of gratefulness. As our children grow older, we want them to be exposed and meet people from all walks of life. Those who are less fortunate. Those who have far less than they. It will teach perspective, but with perspective comes gratitude. “Perspective teaches gratitude.” I can’t wait to brainstorm ways we can give this season as a family, and teach my children some perspective.
Presence. As a busy season approaches, we sometimes neglect the most important gift: the gift of presence. I’ve put in hours and energy into picking out gifts to put under a tree, but have I spent hours giving my children (and others) time? Time is something we all have and we can give. I miss the opportunity to just be with them, to color or talk, or play games. Being present costs me though. It costs me time I would spend writing, doing laundry, or cleaning the house. But my children won’t always be here. And all of those things will be. The gift of presence is one of the most valuable gifts I can give them.
What gift can you give this season? It doesn’t have to come from Amazon or Target. It can be something absolutely free. Time together doesn’t have to cost money. Here is a list of eight FREE gifts you can give your family this year:
1. Hold a movie night.
2. Put away your phone for one whole day.
3. Spend time baking up a treat for the neighbors.
4. Gather up toys and play.
5. Go for a hike in the woods, taking it slow.
6. Play a board game.
7. Draw some pictures together.
8. Put on some dance music and act silly.
God’s Word is free. If you are struggling with where to read for the month of December, can I encourage you to check out my new Advent Reading Plan, Light Breaks Through. 25 Days of Scripture. 25 Days of Prayer. 25 Days of focusing on God’s Light. Purchase your copy here.
The season of advent is one of joy and light and beauty, but sometimes it is overwhelming and dark and hard. Let God’s Light shine into this season, starting with your heart. The power of God’s Word is available to help light the way and break up with a busy heart this Christmas season.
One gift we can give our family is REST. And to give it, we have to get it. So Keri and I joined together to write a series for your heart – before the season of advent. It is only a five-day email devotional: and its FREE!!
Join us for “Preparing Your Heart for Advent.”
Advent means “coming,” and with the coming season comes all kinds of stress. From presents, to family, to decorations, and activities we feel pulled in so many ways.
In this series you will receive encouragement concerning:
- Preparing Your Heart, Home, and Health for the Holidays.
- Preparing Your Faith, Family, and Feet for Advent
- Preparing to Rest During the Rush of Advent
Don’t let the season of advent stress and wear you out. Get ready by digging into God’s Word and getting practical help BEFORE the season starts!
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