Gifting, a burden or a blessing?

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Since I have a big family- we do not always buy every person a gift every year- but usually what we do is draw names around Thanksgiving and buy that one person a gift.  It’s usually a competition to see who can figure out who has who by Christmas day….and it’s always been a fun tradition that we have had.

I find that I really enjoy giving gifts to people when I know that they can really use them and that they will be a blessing to them.  I know how much I have appreciated certain gifts that I have gotten- and it’s a great blessing to be able to give something to someone, knowing how much they will enjoy and appreciate it.

It’s when I can’t figure out ANYTHING to get for someone, that it becomes a burden.  I hate giving people things that I feel like will just clutter their lives.  So, it definitely takes some creativity in gifting to figure out something really practical.

Each year in our Christmas stockings…..my parents put in tooth brushes- and although that might sound boring- I LOVE it!  Who wants to have to buy their own toothbrush really? :)
Some of my FAVORITE practical gifts I have gotten:  (in no certain order)

  • a pair of earrings my older sister got me…..I could be happy wearing them everyday.
  • a north face backpack my older brother got me before I graduated high school…..it’s been all over the world, and still hanging in there!
  • a pair of minnetonka’s my parents got me a few years ago……I love slippers.
  • a french press from my sister as a bridesmaid gift….the best coffee.
  • a tennis racket from my brother….such a good sport!
  • a warm, fuzzy blanket that my sister in law got me.  I have moved around so much, and haven’t always been able to take it with me….so when I came home this time and packed it up in a tote- I was SO happy to see it again!  I will make good use of it in Alaska!

Christmas is by no means just about gifts- but I love that gifts can be a beautiful symbol of the incredible gift we have in Christ.  Gifts do take some sacrifice….planning, buying, wrapping, giving,…..and that’s on such a small scale of the greatest gift we could ever receive!
I hope this Christmas, giving gifts can be a blessing for you and not a burden.  Give not out of guilt or expectation….but out of joy and grace!

—A few photos from the weekend:

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-a very COLD Christmas parade!

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-Jenny and I are on the same wave length….sisters are the best!

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-got my wedding dress so I can get married in 25 days!

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-this weather has been truly cold…..but there is something about a brisk walk in December….

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