Why Gift Giving Matters

Okay y’all. Lets talk about gift giving. Tis the season after all. But, honestly, gift giving is a topic that stays relevant throughout the year. Think birthdays, get well gifts, and moments a friend needs encouragement. Christmas isn’t the only time of year that thoughtful gift giving matters!

Girl holding out a gift with the text, "Why Gift Giving Matters"

I’m going to spend a couple posts on this topic because I LOVE GIFT GIVING!

Also, over the years, a lot of people have commented to me that they wished it was easier for them to come up with good gifts. If that describes you, stay tuned. We’ll chat about how to keep track of birthdays and special events, how to brainstorm gift ideas, and how to stick to a budget when it comes to gifting.

But before we dive into the practical side of picking a good gift, let’s talk about why gift giving matters to begin with.

It’s common to hear people bemoaning the materialistic downfall of holidays. This complaint reaches it’s climax around Christmas time. And it’s not without validity. It’s sometimes easy to sacrifice worship on the altar of bustle. We can be lured into focusing on what we want to receive instead of enjoying the meaning of the season and the blessing of relationships that matter to us.

But gifts are about more than greed and materialism. It’s about more than what you can and can’t afford.

Let’s explore why gift giving matters.

Gift Giving is an Imitation of God

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)

Our lives, both physical and spiritual, are a gift from God. We can’t match His level of gift giving, but we can imitate Him by being generous givers and grateful receivers.

We are the children of a generous God. Yes, there are more important gifts than a gift card for a birthday or a toy to a child on Christmas, but I like to think that a nature of generosity includes the little things as well as the big.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

Gift Giving Communicates Care

In my mind, the perfect gift has very little to do with how much money was spent. The perfect gift is one that communicates that you know the person you’re giving it to. The perfect gift says, “I see you. I’ve payed attention to you. You matter.”

This doesn’t always have to be carefully thought out or intimately personal. If trying to come up with a gift idea feels overwhelming to you, don’t overthink it! Big or small, personal or generic, all gifts require some level of investment of time and resources. That investment communicates that you care.

That said, if you are able to put some thought and effort into picking something personalized, I think that goes a long way in the world of gift giving. We’ll get into how to do that in a future post. 😉

Gift Giving Brings People Together

Many of our best memories are formed during birthday parties, holiday celebrations, bridal showers, and babies showers. These special moments bring people together, and we often incorporate gifts into celebratory moments of life.

Much like sharing a meal around a table, gifts cause people to pull a chair around a central location and give their focus to the same thing. The family comes together around the Christmas Tree on the morning of December 25th. Family members come bearing cupcakes and cheerfully wrapped presents to commemorate someone’s birthdate. The hum of laughter and conversation surrounds a glowing, excited bride at her bridal shower.

Think of the Wise Men, gathered around Jesus and focused on Him. He was both the recipient of their gifts and the greatest gift they would ever receive.

If gift giving is done with the wrong attitude, it can quickly become materialistic instead of beautiful. But perhaps we should examine our motives instead of the act of gift giving itself.

Let’s make time to gather around Jesus and contemplate Him, especially at Christmas time.

And let’s also make time to gather together and recognize that the people we give gifts to are treasures in our lives. Let’s make gift giving less about the objects and the money spent, and more about the time and effort put into the act of gift giving. Let’s make gift giving (and receiving) about reflecting God’s generosity, expressing love for each other, and building community.

What makes gift giving and receiving special to you? What is a gift you’ve received that was extra special to you? Why do you think gift giving is important?

Visit the Other Posts in This Series

5 Books About Black History that I Read in Junior High

Over the past week, our country has been shaken by the death of George Floyd. The streets have been flooded with protesters and social media has been flooded with black squares.

These current events caused me think back on what shaped my understanding of our country’s racial history. As a tween and young teen, I faithfully kept a journal of books I read, so I pulled that journal out and took note of the books I read about slavery, the underground railroad, reconstruction, integration, inter-racial friendship, etc.

If you’re a young person wondering how to navigate and respond to current events, start with your Bible and prayer. But after that, if you want to understand the historical context, these books might help.

Parents and older siblings can also use stories like these as conversation starters or supplements to homeschool history curriculums.

Here are five titles by black authors that I read as a young teenager.

Breakthrough to the Big Leagues:  The Story of Jackie Robinson

Breakthrough to the Big Leagues, by Jackie Robinson

Continue reading “5 Books About Black History that I Read in Junior High”

Ideas for a Letter of Encouragement

In my tween and early teen years, I loved collecting pen pals. I would introduce myself to girls my age at homeschool conferences and camp grounds and ask if they would like to be my pen pal. Many of those girls never responded to my letters, but a few became friends I’ll love for life. We used letter writing to learn about each other. We used letter writing to encourage each other in the Lord. We used letter writing to love each other well.

Letter of Encouragement

Letter writing has become less needed and less practical as digital communication continues to develop, but it still holds a special place in my heart. Opening an email doesn’t hold the same excitement as opening the mailbox to find a note from a friend. Reading words on a screen lacks the personal, heart touching warmth of handwritten words on paper.

Who in your life would benefit from a letter of encouragement right now?

Continue reading “Ideas for a Letter of Encouragement”

Washing Feet In the Midst of Coronavirus Panic

Washing Feet Coronavirus

Wash hands first, then wash feet.

I saw this quote on Instagram several days ago. I can’t find the source now to credit the person who wrote it, but those simple words helped alter how I am thinking about Coronavirus and how it is impacting the world.

Historically, Christians have been at the forefront of helping in the face of calamity. I don’t want that heritage to stop with my generation. Maybe this is our opportunity to carry on the legacy left to us.

Continue reading “Washing Feet In the Midst of Coronavirus Panic”

5 Things I Loved This February

Several email lists that I subscribe to do a monthly list of things they’re enjoying. Those emails are my favorites. Often I delete similar emails without reading them. There’s just not enough time to keep up with them all. But the “things I’m loving” emails get saved until I have some time to comb through them.

5 Things I Loved this February

With so much content available online, I find it helpful and enjoyable to receive a curated list of podcasts, blog posts, books, recipes, etc. that someone else has already vetted and enjoyed.

Since I don’t plow through books quite as fast these days, I will be experimenting with mixing in other types of content as I try to get back into the blogging game. A “what I’m loving” list seemed like a good place to start since it’s the type of content I enjoy receiving.

Continue reading “5 Things I Loved This February”

Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Something is wrong. The Greystone kids get home from school one day and learn that kids in another state have been kidnapped. The weird thing is, the kids have the same names as the Greystone siblings and they look the same too. The news makes Mom act strange, and she keeps acting stranger.

The Strangers

Hi there. I’m back! Maybe?

Over the past several months, I’ve been writing for the Equipping Godly Women blog, and it reminded me how much I enjoy blogging. Every time I write a post over there, I tell myself I should write one here. Unfortunately, procrastination is real, and it’s hard to break out of a year and a half rut of not posting.

Joining the blog tour for Jaye’s new book release forced me come up with a post for Leah’s Bookshelf, and then it seemed natural to share this book I just read.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix”

Book Review & Bonus Content: No Chance Meeting

No Chance Meeting

Summary of No Chance Meeting

Alex has been a different person since she lost her brother to the war in Afghanistan. Somewhere along the way, her relationship with God grew cold, and she can’t find anything that makes life worth living. The weariness almost causes her to do the unthinkable, but God has other plans.

Just before Alex follows through with a plan to end her life, she meets Riley Conrad. He seems to sense something is wrong, and his invitation to breakfast saves her life. When he turns out to be a Christian, and his interest in her continues, Alex wonders if there is a way out of the fog she’s been living in.

Continue reading “Book Review & Bonus Content: No Chance Meeting”