Maybe you’ve heard the saying that Christmas is at risk this year due to supply chain problems. This leads me to believe that we truly do not know the reason for Christmas. The Advent/Christmas season is all about celebrating the gift of God –a Savior, our Messiah, whom we name Jesus. How did this celebration turn into a hedonistic orgy of consumerism? It’s been estimated that Americans alone spend $450 million dollars a year on Christmas. That’s enough to end world hunger forever. I want to challenge you to celebrate God’s glorious gift of Christ in an alternative way this year! Consider giving missional gifts that can help bring the kingdom on earth. Consider giving relational gifts: a date night with your spouse; a whole day doing whatever your son/daughter wants to do; etc. And if you are going to purchase gifts for family and friends this Christmas, consider buying locally, handmade gifts from locally-owned shops. Remember –big-box store will not do a little jig when you make a purchase, but the mom & pop shop will. Make someone do a jig this year!

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Troy

20 Gift Ideas To Make Christmas Radically Relational:

  1. 52 packets of gourmet hot chocolate with a personalized coffee cup: Include a note that says you’d like to share a special time together once a week.
  2. Two journals: Write down the growth you see in each other over the weeks and months ahead, along with prayers for each other. After two months, connect and share it all. Keep it going all year.
  3. Deck of cards with a book on card games or magic tricks: Once a week, play together.
  4. Empty collage photo frame: Fill the frames throughout the new year with snapshots from special activities you do together.
  5. Bottle of sparkling cider and a picnic basket: Have a picnic together, even if it’s inside.
  6. Homemade cookie mixes: Take turns making a batch every couple of weeks.
  7. Create an encouraging and fun care package: Let the unique items in these packages invite quality spiritual conversations.
  8. Gourmet popcorn and video rental gift certificates: Have a movie night every week for a month.
  9. Locally made barbecue sauce with basting brush: Spend time together cooking and eating together and invite new friends into your circle.
  10. Pancake or waffle mix and a bottle of real maple syrup: Start off your day together once a week.
  11. Movie theater gift certificates with a calendar of upcoming movie release dates: Take turns picking movies to see together.
  12. Board games: Pick favorite classics or find new ones.
  13. Two copies of a book: Read through it together, pausing after each chapter to debrief.
  14. Basket filled with kitchen gadgets: Determine to find recipes that invite you to try new things as you cook for each other.
  15. Restaurant Gift Card: Explain that it’s to be used on a dinner date with you!
  16. Watches: Sync alarms to go off at the same time each day so you’ll remember to pray for each other.
  17. Post-It notepads: Leave encouraging notes for each other in unexpected places.
  18. Puzzles: Take your time putting these together so you create space to also connect and talk.
  19. Tickets to a favorite event: Choose something fun, like a symphony, concert, musical, truck rally or rodeo you’ll both enjoy.
  20. Gardening tools: Plan something you’ll grow together, including trips to buy the seeds and soil to prepare for the harvest down the road.


Missional Giving Ideas:

  1. Your family could sign up to sponsor a child through organizations like World Vision
  2. Purchase farm animals for families in impoverished villages around the world through Food For The Hungry
  3. Help vulnerable communities have access to clean water through efforts like Charity Water
  4. Help people around the world create opportunities for themselves and their communities by becoming a micro-lender through organizations like Kiva.
  5. Krochet Kids sells quality hand-woven clothing and textile products, made by women in third world countries, providing them with skills and life-changing job opportunities that help them break the cycle of poverty in their community.
  6. Inspired by Proverbs 31, 31 Bits combines a love for people, fashion, design and travel to create accessories and home goods in collaboration with skilled artisans around the world by providing them with dignified job opportunities, sustainable wages and giving them access to the global market.
  7. Thistle Farms sells high-quality, natural products for your bath, body and home that are handmade by women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction, directly helping them get a second chance at life.
  8. You already have the gift of helping others. And when you pair that gift with the gifts you’ll find here, you offer an invaluable treasure. It’s a child reading for the first time, a toddler taking a step because you set them on a healthy path, a family who can stay warm when temperatures drop…and so much more through Church World Service:
  9. The Heifer Project seeks to provide economy and nourishment for people through gifts of farm animals and health-relating gifts.
  10. Local mission partner Starfish Haiti runs a school in Haiti.