Looking for the perfect Christmas gift is challenging, especially if you are on a tight budget. Is it possible to give a good gift without breaking your bank? The answer is a definite yes. You just have to understand that not all gifts can be bought with money. In fact, the most valuable gifts are those that can neither be bought nor sold. Here is a list of free gifts that you can give this Christmas:
Gift of Love
Christmas is a story of love. It is about the unconditional love of a Father for His children that “He sent his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to die for them (John 3:16).” You can share this love with your family and friends in a number of ways this Christmas. It can be as simple as a hug, a handwritten note, or freshly baked cookies. Whatever it may be, remember that it’s the thought – and the love – behind it that counts. As Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not [about] how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Gift of Service
Service is a selfless action done by one on behalf of another. Acts of service enrich both the giver and the receiver. You can serve in various ways, such as a simple smile or cleaning someone else’s yard. Set traditional gift giving aside, and choose to serve this Christmas season. Remember that material gifts will be broken but acts of service will never be forgotten. Be creative and sincere with your service.
Gift of Quality Time
The old adage, “Time is gold” still holds true until today. Time remains one of human’s precious, non-renewable resources. The time you spent is the time you can never get back. This is why time is one of the most valuable gifts you can ever give to someone.
Treat your time as precious as gold, and spend it with people who matter most in your life. Help your sibling answer his homework; cook a meal together with your spouse; or have a nice stroll with a friend in the park. Spending quality time doesn’t need to be grand or expensive. Just avoid distractions and make sure to focus all your attention to the people you’re with. Then you will realize that you made the most out of your time.
Gift of Happiness
Christmas is meant to be happy because we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can find the happiness that will last forever. Even if there’s so much wrong in the world and in our lives, even if the problems never seem to run out, we can always find reasons to be happy. As Prophet Russell M. Nelson said, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives”2 and the “eternal principles that govern happiness apply equally to all.”3 Find your reasons to be happy then share them. Happiness is contagious. Pass it on.
Gift of Gratitude
God is constantly showering blessings upon us. There are so many things we can be grateful for every day. If we are grateful, we attract positive vibes into our lives, resulting in many more blessings.
How we experience life is usually based on our perspective. Choose to see the glass half full, not half empty. Have an attitude of gratitude, and share it with others. Can’t think of things to be grateful for? Here are a few lines from a children’s song written by Shawna Edwards to help you:
“One, for each blessed day
Two, every breathe I take
Three, for my family
Four, all they mean to me
Five, just to be alive
Six, for the Earth and sky
And, Seven, for heaven…
Eight, for the chance to grow
Nine, heart and hands and soul
Ten, for the eyes to see
All that God has given me”
Gift of Kind Words
In the scriptures, Jesus Christ reminded us several times to use kind words with each other. He said, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).”
Do you know why? Because Jesus Christ knows well that “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones (Proverbs 16: 24)” in both literal and figurative senses.
When you say kind words, you don’t only make people feel loved, inspired, or encouraged, but you also enrich your life and strengthen your character. Build people up and not destroy them with your words. Be generous with your compliments; show appreciation; always say please and thank you. Kind words will go a long way.
Gift of Respect
We have learned that respect is earned and not given. In one sense, it is true. A person needs to be respectable, in words and deeds, to earn the respect of others. However, there is a definition of respect that needs no input from the receiver and only concerns the giver. It is respect in the sense of “acting in a way which shows that you are aware of (someone’s rights, wishes, etc.).” By this definition, we need to give respect to everyone. Respect comes in different forms, such respect for wisdom and experience, respect for hard work, or respect for trying. Respect is a gift that keeps on giving and one that comes back.
Gift of Forgiveness
Holding on to a grudge is like a holding on to a double-edged sword. It does not only hurt your “enemy” but it also hurt you. Even if it is hard, learn to let go of past offenses. You will find your load is lighter and your life is happier.
If you forgive someone, make sure that you also completely forget what he or she did. As Spencer W. Kimball said, “Forgiveness means forgetfulness.”8 It requires not only a visible reconciliation but also a purging of one’s mind and heart. As we forgive one another, the Lord promised us that He will also forgive our trespasses.9
Gift of Invitation
An invitation involves courage on your part and genuine concern and love for another person. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you are encouraged to share the gospel with your family and friends and invite them to act based on the truths they have learned. Inviting someone in a nice and loving way to do volunteer activities together, to attend church, or to abandon a bad habit is one of the best gifts you can give this Christmas. Be bold but sensitive and loving with your invitations.
Gift of Faith
To complete this list of valuable Christmas gifts, let’s talk about the gift of faith. Faith is a firm belief in someone or something despite a lack of tangible evidence. A verse in the Book of Mormon explained faith this way,
“And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21).”
Faith is the belief you have for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Even though you have not seen Them, you know that They are true. In a world that practices the principle of “to see is to believe”, having the gift of faith is important. The gift of faith grows as you nourish it every day through simple acts of righteousness, such as praying and reading the scriptures. It also grows by sharing your testimony with others. Give someone the gift of faith this Christmas and help them nourish it.
As you share a gift or two or three from this list, may it help you and others remember the true meaning of Christmas – CHRIST.
What is your favorite free gift to give this Christmas?