Dear Dr. Levister: I think Christmas is too commercialized. How can I demonstrate my belief that it is more blessed to give than receive. What are your suggestions? G.S.
Dear G.S.: Let your gifts this holiday season be something only you can give. Let your giving be in the form of sacrifice. Scripture Samuel 2:24, David said he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing.
Maybe your gift will be to forgive an estranged family member or friend. Apologize for past indiscretions or hurtful acts you committed. You may discover that you’ve given a gift back to yourself.
Plan a project of goodwill this Christmas: Recently a patient shared a heartwarming story of how he “adopted” a single mom. His neighbor was barely making ends meet and didn’t have money to buy gifts for her small children. He bought gifts for the family and replaced their broken refrigerator the week of Christmas. Do you have an elderly neighbor or friend in need of home repairs or yard work? Find someone with a genuine need, create a family project and make someone smile this Christmas.
Go Christmas caroling in a nursing home or a children’s hospital: My neighbor incorporated Christmas caroling at a nearby nursing home into her annual staff Christmas party. Each person brought an unwrapped gift for the residents such as shampoo, lotion, games or books. The group walked the halls singing Christmas carols. Afterwards, they gathered for a holiday potluck. She said it was the best staff Christmas party she’d ever had.
Give a surprise gift of service to each member of your family: Jesus taught us to serve by washing the disciples feet. He also taught us that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 NIV). The idea of giving an unexpected gift of service to members of your family is to demonstrate Christ-like love and service. You might consider giving a back rub to your spouse, running an errand for your brother, or cleaning out a closet for your mother. Make it personal and meaningful and watch the blessings multiply.