Sunday, December 7, 2008


We got our Christmas tree earlier this week while it was sunny and cold out. We bundled up and went to a local lot with beautiful already-cut trees. We didn't feel like trudging in the mud this year to cut our own so we were happy to support a locally owned business and ended up with a beautiful noble fir (my favorite). By the end of the evening there was leftover popcorn scattered across the floor, traces of hot cocoa in mugs, and tired boys staring at the decorated tree not wanting to go to bed.

I mentioned in my last post about the Advent Conspiracy. We are really trying to approach gift giving differently this year. In both sides of our families we usually only buy for the kids so there isn't much pressure or stress to buy for lots of different ages and personalities. Still, we want each gift to be thoughtful and creative. Out of our nine nieces and nephews, I'm making or partially making 6 of the gifts. I had grander ideas 2 months ago but realized I was being a little too optimistic about what I could get done. But I'm really happy with what we've ended up with and hope the kids will be too.

Since we aren't obligated to buy for the adults, it actually opens up a ton of ideas for relational giving. Relational gifts are gifts that involve your time, something that will bring you closer to the person. The ideas are endless.

*Bring coffee and some muffins and spend a morning with a loved one
*Knit/Crochet a scarf
*Give popcorn and a movie to spend an evening with a friend
*Set aside art time with a child, bring the supplies and draw together
*Give your favorite recipes in a little collection tied with ribbon
*Offer to build a garden together in the spring
*Give baking lessons to the kids in your life
*Offer to babysit
*Take an elderly family member/friend out for an evening or just spend time with them
*Offer to go grocery shopping for a family
*Make a set of cards as a gift
*Bake some bread or cookies for a friend
*Make jam
*Make a memory book for a friend full of photos
*A mixed cd of your favorite music

For more ideas see Rethinking Christmas. And for a great idea on Christmas Day... bring a gift and use it that day.

Today starts the second week of Advent. The candle we'll light tonight is for peace.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Isaiah 9:6



mathew said...

Every year I give each family (siblings, neighbors, etc) a homemade gift. I've done hot cocoa mix (homemade, of course ;) layered in a jar, homemade bread and cinnamon butter, cookie mix in a jar...the list goes on. I got a really great book called Gifts In A Jar that gived tons of ideas. Anyone wanting to do homemade gifts should get one like it or look it up online! This year I'm giving chocolate cake in a mug (see it on I love giving homemade gifts!!!

Tasha said...

That comment that says Mathew is from me! Just wanted to make sure you knew that! We all know that Matt's only homemade gift would be a handshake! ;-)

Adam and Raechell said...

Amen & Amen. Lovely post!

Fred and Bonnie said...

And I was just starting to be proud of Mathew.