10 ways to give your time instead of your money this Christmas
Jesus calls His followers to be givers and Christmas is a great opportunity to give. As we give, we celebrate how Jesus gave Himself to us. He came to Earth as a baby, lived among us, and died for us. When we give, we allow Jesus’ love to flow from us to others.
Most of us want to give generously at Christmas, but sometimes the bought and bagged items haunt us—staring at us from the corner and reminding us we spent money we didn’t have. When we make unwise choices with money, we can easily lose the joy of giving.
A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot.
The point of a Christmas gift is not the brand name or how much we spent on it. We give to show our love. We give to be a blessing. We give to share Jesus. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot.
10 Ways To Give Generous Gifts Without The Guilt
1. Offer to help someone decorate.
I love my house being decorated, but to be honest, the task can become overwhelming with so many other things to do. What if you offered to help a friend make their house beautiful for Christmas time? What a blessing this would be to a busy friend.
2. Offer to babysit for the night.
You could give a mom a night out to do her shopping or give a couple some quiet time alone during a hectic time of year. You could save someone money to use elsewhere at Christmas.
3. Cook a little extra for a friend.
While this will cost a little, it can be minimal. Plan a simple meal for your family and buy double the supplies. Cook and put the extra in containers to give away. Who wouldn’t love a home-cooked meal on the night they are rushing to a child’s school event or cleaning the house for guests?
4. Offer to wrap some Christmas presents.
Save someone time by offering to wrap some of their presents. What a time saver this would be.
5. Offer a coupon for pet sitting.
As a dog owner, I now have to think about what we are going to do with Layla when we travel. Give a pet sitting voucher that someone can cash in during their next vacation. Save your friend the money and stress of hiring someone when the need arises.
6. Offer free lessons to a friend or their child.
Do you know how to play the piano? Do you know how to ride horses or coach someone to become physically fit? Why not offer some free lessons? Private lessons are costly, and many people put this opportunity on the back burner.
7. Offer a specialized service.
If you know how to do nails, hair or makeup, you could treat someone to a mini spa experience. If you know how to change oil in a car, you could offer a free oil change. Think of something you are good at and use that talent to bless someone else. If you can’t fit it into the holiday schedule, provide a voucher to be used later.
8. Give your time.
Help a teacher make copies, cut out displays, or put up a bulletin board. Come alongside a friend where they volunteer.
9. Give something homemade.
Bake some goodies from items in your pantry. Paint a picture with the paints and canvas you have on hand. Get on Pinterest and find a homemade hand scrub or lotion recipe.
10. Don’t forget the treasures lying around your house.
Some may shy away from this one, but consider what you may have on hand to give as a gift. Perhaps you have items you stashed away after finding a good deal. Maybe you have beautiful plants at your home that can be split. What about a special gift to give someone something they have always admired. Think about what you already have that will bless someone else.
This Christmas, let’s all agree not to give because we think we have to and not to feel obligated to give something we can’t afford. Don’t be controlled by guilt, but give out of love as God calls us to give: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).