Gift-Giving During a Money Crunch

Times are tough. Money is tight. While many Christians are hoping for a white Christmas, for a lot of us, we might be anticipating a blue Christmas. Gas prices may be half of what they were a month ago but the cost of everything else is still pretty high!


Our kids are caught in a materialistic society, and parents are not immune. We want the newest gadget, the latest toy, the upgraded phone or gaming system. When do we reach a level of satisfaction and contentment? Oops, that’s for another time…


Gift-giving is a Christmas tradition in the western world; it is expected. Our kids cannot even imagine Christmas without packages. We might like the message of the Grinch; that Christmas came anyway, even without all the packages, boxes and bags. Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more! But how can we emphasize the Gift of Christmas over Christmas gifts?


Here’s a radical idea, how about choosing gifts this year based on a biblical theme? ** For example, as we read about Jesus in Luke 2:52, that He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, perhaps we can find items to fit these four categories. Give a board game or a book that promotes wisdom. Stature might warrant clothing or a sporting item. A devotional book might help your child grow in favor with God. A DVD or a video game might foster relationships with their friends. It would be important to explain the significance of each of these gifts!


Helping your kids understand a family budget might cut back on the notion that mom and dad have money growing on a tree somewhere. Resist using your plastic! Explain the reality of Proverbs 22:7 (just one verse after the admonition to train our children in the way they should go).


You can always find a way to serve others, taking the focus off of ourselves and putting on to others. Giving back is the latest craze. Gather items for our Christmas basket give-away. Bake cookies for your neighbors or shut-ins. Sponsor a child in the Chande Orphanage Project. Serve a meal at the homeless shelter.


Christmas will always be meaningful to a believer, whether there are a lot of packages under the tree or not. Focus on the reason for the season! Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)


** I got this idea from Kelly King in Oklahoma. 


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