Are you wondering what to give your loved ones (who don’t need anything) for Christmas?
I have an idea for you!
Invest in your relationships this Christmas.
Christmas gift giving in my extended family has morphed from all of us exchanging gifts with each other (very fun when children were little) to gifting just one family member (more manageable as gift desires went from Matchbox to X-Box). Then we increasingly asked ourselves, “What do you buy for your twenty-something niece or nephew?” Right. Cash or a gift card. Always appreciated, I’m sure, but not particularly memorable.
So, we decided to spend our gift-giving budgets in a fun family event instead of stuff.
Last weekend we celebrated our second annual “Thanksgiftsmas.” (Christmas gift event celebrated over Thanksgiving weekend.)
All four generations of us spent three days together in a large home along the beautiful Lake Michigan shore.
The experience exceeded my high expectations for at least four reasons:
- Fun. Yep, we simply had fun. The weekend wasn’t about an elaborate meal or a car load of gifts or any particular agenda; our only objective was to enjoy being together. We played goofy games, laughed a lot, and ate too much. Mission accomplished.
- Interpersonal interactions. Typically our family interactions occur in large groups commemorating major life events or celebrating birthdays and holidays. We all live just far enough apart so that spontaneous one on one conversations are rare. Three whole days in one house gave us time and opportunity for meaningful interpersonal moments. These are the gifts I think I will most cherish.
- Intergenerational interactions. Throughout the weekend we noticed random assortments of grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and siblings in conversation with each other. These table-top talks were comfortable, natural and enjoyable. Priceless.
- Family Friday eclipsed Black Friday. No contest.
It is especially appropriate to invest in relationships at Christmas time.
Christmas is the celebration of Jesus, God himself, born in human skin as a baby. He lived in perfect relationship with his Father and with the people around him. Then he died as the necessary perfect sacrifice for our sins, for it is our sin that separates us from God.
Why? What was in it for Him?
He did it because he loves us. He did it so that we can be in relationship with Him for eternity.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
Relationships are eternally valuable to God. They are our most valuable gifts. Let’s invest in them.
How do you spend time with your family at Christmas?
What is your family’s Christmas gift exchange arrangement?
P.S. Note the page “Christmas Collection“ in between “About” and “Contact Judy” for links to several posts of Christmases past.