Monday, December 17, 2012

A Different Kind of Gift for Christmas

My daughter busting a move with
my husband at a family wedding.
She's a gifted dancer!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." James 1:17

I have three siblings and all of us are married with children. When we get together for Christmas there are twenty-one people just in our immediate little circle. A few years ago we decided to stop buying gifts for one another, instead we spend Christmas visiting, playing games and watching the grandchildren perform their annual Nativity Play.

In lieu of material gifts this year, I suggested we do something a little different. Instead of buying something from the store, I thought it would be fun to share the gift that God has given us.

I firmly believe that God has placed inside each of us special talents, skills and abilities that we're supposed to share with the world.

My husband is an amazing singer. It's so much fun to listen to him sing praise and worship in church. But, it's even more fulfilling when others come up and tell him how much his singing blesses them.

My sister is gifted in designing. It can be a room or a wardrobe. She's always the first person I call when I'm picking out wall colors or trying to put together the perfect outfit.

My mom is gifted in encouraging and propelling people to action. It's no wonder that she's serving in her second term as mayor of our town.

My dad is gifted in spacial concepts. He has built four of my parents' homes (while maintaining a day job that has nothing to do with building) and the way he can take lines on a blueprint and make it into a structure astounds me.

I realize my family can't share some of these gifts in my parents' living room, but thankfully God doesn't stop with one gift. There are so many to choose from.

My oldest daughter loves to tell jokes, so she's been practicing her best jokes for Christmas Eve. My second daughter loves to dance, so she and a cousin have been choreographing a dance for us and another cousin will sing the song they're dancing to. My brother-in-law has a top-secret gift he's planning on sharing, but none of us know what it is!

As for me, I haven't quite figured out what gift I'll share. I have a few ideas in the back of my head, but I think I'll also keep it a secret until Christmas Eve.

It's so much fun watching the grandchildren, who range in age from nine months to eleven years old, get more excited for this talent show than anything else this Christmas Season. But the best part is knowing we'll make memories together that will far outlast any toy we could ever give.

What about you? Do you have any unique ideas for Christmas this year? What is your favorite memory from a childhood Christmas?


  1. Gabrielle, I love this post! This year we decided that our kids would make Christmas presents for their grandparents and great aunt. It was a way for them to learn the value of the gift and to give something that actually cost them more than Dad's pocketbook or their allowance. May you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

  2. How fun, Gabe! We don't buy presents for all of Mike's siblings...instead, we do a Secret Sibling gift exchange where everywhere draws names and just gets one other person to buy for. It cuts down on costs but is a fun way to do it.

    Oh, and you should totally write a short Christmas story and put all your family members in it. How fun would that be? ;)

  3. Michelle - I love being creative with gift giving at Christmas, and it sounds like you guys do, too! I agree, learning the value of a gift is so much easier to do when the gift is made by their own hands. May you and your family also have a very Merry Christmas!

    Lindsay - we are doing that for my husband's side of the family for the first time this year. At this point, my children are the only grandchildren, so it hasn't been as overwhelming, but we thought it would relieve some pressure (and help financially) if we just bought one gift, instead of five this year. My favorite part of the Christmas is truly just getting together and being a family. And I've thought about writing a Christmas story with each of my family in it...I'll have to give it a little more thought. :)

  4. So fun, Gabrielle -- and I can't wait to hear more about this after the holiday!

    Merry Christmas, friend.

  5. Oh, I love this, Gabe. Something fun we've always done in my extended family is a Christmas program...each of the kids sings something or reads a poem or dances. It's always fun (with a lot of laughs, too) and really sweet to see the kids celebrating Jesus. Love it!

  6. I love your idea for sharing gifts! On Christmas Eve, we take the kids out for lunch at their favorite restaurant (Red Robin for the past few years). Then, we come home and read Luke 2, and pray, thanking Jesus for the many gifts He's given us. Then, we open presents, one at a time until nothing wrapped sits under the tree. We try to maintain a grateful heart in the opening of gifts.

    As a girl, I loved, LOVED deocrating our Christmas tree as a family. My dad had this amazing electric train and he'd run it for us, much to our delight. Then, we'd eat chocolate chip cookies and drank egg nog as a family. I loved that. :)

    Merry Christmas, Gabe!


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