Give purposefully. The gift of giving goes way back to the wise men giving gifts to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. This tradition dates back to when Jesus was two years old, not at the stable where he was first born. The point is that when they found him, they knew there would be needs and brought their best. That is the same attitude we should have today. This year I decided not buy into the commercialism of Christmas. I have been broken of all things shopping, the gift giving for no apparent reason, the "we-have-to-a-gift for-so-and-so-on-our-list-because-it's-Christmas" idea.
Give radically. I hear the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and I agree but not for the reasons the song states. It's because people are more inclined to give gifts more abundantly. Ministry happens when God's people give. There are some alternative ways to give a gift, a non-traditional way to make a difference. Some great ideas are here. If you are interested in sponsoring a child with Mission of Mercy, you can go here. With both of these sites, your gift will enhance someones life and it is truly appreciated.
Give generously. God changed my heart while on the mission trip to the DR this summer. I still remember that moment. So this year with all the clamor of commercials and attractive glittery enticements competing for my attention, I challenge myself to remember what giving is all about. It's about making a difference, impacting someones life, about changing their perspective about Jesus, it's about spending less.
Give your heart. I was a part of a "pay it forward" gift to a friend this year. It caught the receiver off guard and in his words "it blew me away". God was already in it. I love to be in the middle of a move of God, that's because you are in God's heart too.
As I choose to go against the cultural flow of gift giving, it doesn't mean that I love my family any less. In fact, it speaks love louder, the love that God has for us. The best example is the ultimate gift of the baby Jesus incarnate in flesh as our salvation. God's gift to us in the form of a baby was generous, radical, full of love and grace, joyful and with a purpose. It's His love message that motivates me to not to buy, buy, buy gifts this Christmas. May you be challenged as you give God's love this Christmas.