Congratulations to Larri & Nicci for winning the devotionals Just Sayin’ and Dare U 2 Open This Book from Zonderkidz and Carol McAdams Moore. I wish I had a book for every person who entered! You can find copies for your tweens wherever books are sold, or here and here on Amazon. Thank you all for entering!
Over the next few weeks, here are 6 of the best free gifts you can give this season:
1. Your Time
Don’t get so caught up hustling to DO things for people that you forget to BE with them.
- Have coffee with a hurting friend.
- Invite a family to have dinner with your family. (Remember what true hospitality is.)
- Play a board game.
- Make cookies.
- Visit an assisted living facility.
- Sing Christmas carols with your family.
- Go for a hike through a park or nature center. Have hot chocolate together afterwards.
2. Your Undivided Attention
We all know phones and digital devices are a problem these days. They transport us to a world away from the people we are physically present with. We made a rule over Thanksgiving: If you sat at the table to play board games, no phones allowed. We had the best. time. ever.
- Create phone-free zones like the dinner table or the game table or a certain room in the house.
- Create phone-free timezones like 5-9 p.m. every day.
- When you’re shopping, leave the phone in your car or commit to leaving it in your pocket/purse and not checking it until you return to the car.
- Pay attention to the shoppers around you. Make conversation with the cashier. Be present while you buy presents!
3. Your Words
This happiest season of all, can often be a sad or insecure season for many. Offer words of encouragement and affirmation whenever you can.
- Send a text message to someone you haven’t connected with in awhile.
- Pick up the phone and call a long-distance relative or friend.
- Write an encouraging letter and mail it.
- Make a point to say something positive and encourage to everyone you encounter over the next few weeks.
- Be intentional and let someone know how much they mean to you, or share something they have done over the past year that meant a lot to you.
4. Your Service
Notice something that needs done, and just do it!
- Clear everyone’s dishes after a meal.
- Make someone’s bed for them.
- Surprise clean the bathrooms. (Seriously, come do this for me any day).
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway.
5. Your Touch
For some of us (pointing at myself), touch doesn’t come naturally. Yet, touch is a necessary piece of our health and connection to people. Pay attention especially to those who don’t have avenues for regular physical touch such as singles or the elderly.
- Give hugs, real ones, like big bear hugs.
- Sit next to someone and hold their hand.
- Offer a kiss on the cheek.
- Touch someone’s arm while they talk with you.
6. Your Patience
As much as we love to romanticize the holidays as being a season of love and joy and peace – reality is people can get a bit testy over the holidays. By this point in the season, cashiers have endured all sorts of rude behavior, and may be working over time. Kids are ramped up on sugar and just plain over excited. Others are hurting and struggling through the season, and may try to hide their pain with prickly behavior. Certain family members just require an extra bit of patience. We all all can give the gift of extra patience with people over the holidays.
- Take a deep breath and close your eyes for a second.
- Ask God to help you see this person as He sees them.
- Count to ten in your head before responding.
- Force a big smile, and ask God to help you share His love.
What would you add to the list? What are some of the best free gifts you have been given?
[tweetherder]6 Free Gifts anyone would be happy to receive #Christmas #giftideas[/tweetherder]
[tweetherder]Don’t get so busy doing things that you forget to be with people. 6 free #giftideas. #Christmas[/tweetherder]
[tweetherder]The best gifts are often free. 6 Meaningful Gifts Anyone can Give. #Christmas #giftideas[/tweetherder]