Giving gifts with joy, not stress

Giving with joy

Do you procrastinate like I do?

My Christmas shopping isn’t anywhere near done, and it can feel like a heavier weight each day if I let it.

I’ve seen amazing gift guides all over the Internet, and honestly, I don’t even know what I’m getting the people on my small list, so I’m not in a place to recommend gift ideas.

What I’d like to remind myself, and maybe you, too, is how to take joy in giving gifts to our favorite people. 

1. It all starts with motivation: A good friend and I talked about how it’s hard to give blanket advice to people about what to do. The what is meaningless next to the why. The best gifts are expressions of love that the giver is delighted to give. Why we choose to give matters so much more than what we actually give.

If Christmas gifts are to be a small reflection of the greatest gift to humanity, God’s only Son, then they must be given with the heart that God has: He so loved that He gave.

It’s so easy to lose sight of that great gift and get our motivation tangled up. Comparing ourselves to other people’s gift giving, trying to reciprocate when we’re given gifts, spending the “right” amount: so many other motivations enter in and steal the joy of giving if we let them.

2. Shop online: Just thinking about crowded parking lots and disgruntled shoppers makes my blood pressure rise. Shopping from my couch is one of the best ways I know to keep stress levels down.

There are a few more days to shop online! If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can buy yourself a few more days of shopping by signing up. (We find that it’s well worth it throughout the year to have.) Tsh of The Art of Simple shared a great list of Amazon gift ideas for everyone.

You might spend less, too. It’s easier to compare prices among multiple retailers, and studies show you are much more likely to buy an item you’ve touched. Online retailers have plenty of marketing tricks, but at least you’re not touching everything!

3. Give fewer items. I’ve often fallen into the trap of buying more just to buy more instead of focusing on fewer gifts. Can you give your family one or two quality, thoughtful gifts instead of a slew of less meaningful ones?

I’m struggling with this now as I keep seeing items I’d like to buy. Back to the motivation: I’m not inspired to buy out of love, but because it feels good to buy stuff and to add one more thing under the tree. Luckily we have a budget in place so I’ll have a cut off point.

Are you still finishing your shopping? What do you do to give out of joy and not stress?

This post is part of a doing less to build more: holiday edition series.

Photo Credit: mysza831 via Compfight cc

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2 thoughts on “Giving gifts with joy, not stress

  1. These are great suggestions, Jacey. I have really loved each post in this series – super-engaging & helpful content (thanks!).

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