"It's better to give than to receive." That old saying is sometimes hard to grasp as a child, but I've found it to be absolutely true the older I've gotten. Nothing makes me smile more than to find a fun, surprising gift for a friend or family member. But sometimes, it's not about driving all over to find the right gift. And that should be great news with only 10 days left until Christmas.
For instance, our church is participating in the Advent Alternative. In lieu of buying a regular gift, you can go online and honor someone by giving a donation in their behalf to a worthy cause like Heifer International, H.O.P.E. Farm, World Vision, or others. Or if you just love to shop, one of the gift alternatives I have used in the past is to honor a friend or family member by adopting an angel from one of the Angel Trees around town.
I've also been a big fan of making gifts. From baked goodies to preparing jars of Christmas scent to making personalized notecards, I've run the gammit. I've also enjoyed serving my friends by putting lights on their trees or helping them get their shopping done. I don't think you can go wrong when you bless someone with the use of your time and talent. I know I've been blessed by some wonderful gifts that haven't come in a box, like my sister flying in to drive me home and friends coming over to replace outdoor lightbulbs (where ladders are involved) and put up my Christmas decorations.
Those are just a few of my attempts to think outside-the-box when it comes to gift giving. But I'd enjoy hearing what gift-giving ideas you have.