If you’re lacking creative Christmas gift ideas, I’ve got ten to share. And the best part is, they’re all free!
- A smile
The Covid19 pandemic has caused anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation for millions around the world. Pay special attention to those around you this holiday season. A genuine smile is often the best way to say Merry Christmas, and to brighten someone’s day. Granted, most of us are wearing masks and smiles are hard to see. But I think folks can still see the twinkle in our eyes when we offer a genuine smile. There are of course times we won’t be wearing a mask, when folks can benefit even more from our heartfelt smiles 😀 “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love” (Mother Teresa).
With social distancing restrictions, there are some things we may not be able to do, but there are still many things we can do to help those in need. For example, we can pack care boxes and leave them at the door, mail gift cards, shovel snow for a neighbor, take food to someone who’s ill (keeping a safe distance). And never forget that prayer is a great help to all. Let someone know you’re praying for them, and ask the Lord to abundantly supply their needs. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others” (Audrey Hepburn).
Now more than ever, folks need to hear kind words. Share uplifting words or a sweet handwritten note card with someone who is feeling anxious, insecure, fearful, or worried about the future. “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” (Proverbs 16:24).
Offer forgiveness to all, recognizing that God has forgiven us first, even when we were so undeserving. This is why baby Jesus came, to reveal God’s undying unconditional love to the world. His story, from the manger to the cross and beyond, is one of mercy and grace! “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4: 19). “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you” (Lewis B. Swedes).
Create a personal connection by making a beautiful card or letter with your heartfelt, handwritten words. You could also draw/sketch/color something in the card. Take your time, make it special. You can even wrap your letter and place it under the tree. It will surely make someone smile! Calling someone that you can’t see for Christmas is also a wonderful and very personal gift. I know how special it is when my family calls me over the holidays, and I hear their voice. Is there someone in another State or country that would love to hear from you? There are free calling App’s, for example, What’s App. Enjoy special moments together over the phone!
Find out what someone may need organized, and offer to help. Maybe your mom or dad needs the closet, kitchen, garage, or attic sorted. They’ll be relieved to have someone to help them declutter and lighten their load.
The gift of time is incredibly versatile! Here are some ideas (keeping Covid19 restrictions in mind): take a walk in nature with that special someone; call a friend and spend time catching up on the phone; throw hoops with your teen, have a Christmas theme tea party with your child, bake Christmas cookies together. Find creative and safe ways to interact with loved ones, especially the elderly. “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it . . . Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time” (Rick Warren).
Each time my dog’s jump in my lap for snuggles I experience the gifts of unconditional love and acceptance. It’s an amazing feeling, to know that you are fully known yet fully loved! Christmas is all about love–God’s love for us, and our love for one another. Find ways to let someone know how much they mean to you. Tell them you love, value, and accept them. Demonstrate it in word and deed. If you’re struggling to accept or love someone, ask God to help you. “The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance” (Brian Tracy). “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
This one always makes me smile. I offered coupons to my parents. My children offered them to me. What talents or services can you offer to someone special? i.e. babysitting, washing dishes, mowing the yard, walking the dog, cooking a meal. Design your own coupon book, or find free printable Christmas coupons online. (Image: blank Christmas coupon book, etsy shop).
Offering your heart (mind, will, emotions) to God is the greatest gift of all! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). God has already given us so much, by sending Jesus to wash away our sins, and restore our relationship with God. Our gift to him is to love him in return, to give him thanks, and to live for his glory!
May you have peace with God, peace in your home, and peace in your heart. Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for 2021!
For everyday inspiration follow me at:
Pawz & Pray: Finding Joy in the Journey with God, Family, and Furry Friends! 130 Uplifting Stories and Devotions for Dog Lovers!Unleash a richer, simpler, more meaningful life!
Pawz & Pray is a collection of heartwarming stories, scriptures, and prayers, inviting you to draw close to God and discover the secrets to a truly meaningful life. If you’d like to extract more joy out of life, and happen to have a sweet spot for dogs, this book is for you! [Learn more about the book]
“Leila’s book has been a true inspiration to me. It makes you focus on what’s really important in life. The author gives us great examples on how we can have a closer walk with God by following the lead that our pets give us in their everyday life. “Pawz & Pray” encourages us to put our worry and anxiety aside and take time to enjoy the things God has put right in front of us. This book has touched my heart in an indescribable way. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves animals and wants to have a closer connection to our Heavenly Father.”
– Holly Cornwell, Editor 2007 – June 2014, The Royal Spaniels
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