Christmas Conversation #15: What kind of gifts can you give to non-Christian friends that make Jesus attractive?
I know; the idea of giving the perfect gift can be daunting. How do you find that one thing which you can afford, which communicates that you really know the person you are giving it to…that you understand and love them uniquely, which also communicates something about you as the giver, and which also recognizes something about your relationship status (friends, family, lovers…)??? And how on earth can you do this for every person on your list? And here we come along asking you to consider adding one more criteria to the perfect gift…that it in some way manages to point the receiver of the gift to Jesus. But no pressure!
There are those people who are especially talented in giving the perfect gifts. I am definitely not that person. But I do long to give things which do more than say, “Here is my uncreative, obligatory gift…because I love you.” And above all my desires to give gifts which are personal and special and creative, I long more than anything to give gifts which will point people to Jesus.
But sometimes, in our eager efforts to do so (or at least, let me speak from personal experience on this one), we can have the opposite effect and turn them off. I can just hear the conversation in their head…“Oh, my Christian friend just gave me yet another book to ‘read’ (aka sit on my shelf next to the one from last year, and the year before that) about how I could know that Jesus was real. I mean, I know I wrote the obligatory Thank You note for the gift and all last year, but maybe I did too good a job if they actually believed I wanted another ‘Jesus gift’. Why are they always trying to change me??? They don’t see me pushing my beliefs down their throat.”
Sometimes a gift that makes Jesus attractive might be one that doesn’t “say” Jesus at all. Maybe it disarms them altogether to find out how much thought and care you put into something that met their needs and showed your love without any hint of trying to “change” them. Or maybe it is stepping out in faith and giving them a Christian book to read, trusting that when the time is right the Holy Spirit will prompt them to read it.
What are YOUR thoughts? Do you have some personal experience with this? Any stories of how someone’s gift made Jesus attractive to you? Any general suggestions for the not-so-excellent gift-givers out there (like myself) who would really like to be better about giving meaningful, intentional gifts…the kind that might impact someone for Christ?
Please, please, please!!! Wanna-be good-gift-givers around the cyber-world are pleading for your insight, ideas, tips and tricks! Have some mercy and help us out.
Check out our other Christmas Conversations:
We have 25 different “conversations” going online and we’d love to hear your thoughts! See the list below and add your two cents when and where you can, and benefit from the collective think tank as you go!
- How do you keep the spirit of giving in your Cristmas shopping?
- How do you bring Jesus into your shopping experience?
- What do you think about Christmas music?
- What’s the worst Christmas song and why?
- What’s your best idea for using a Christmas movie to spark a conversation about Christ?
- What’s the worst Christmas movie and why?
- What’s the most meaningful Christmas tradition that your family has?
- How do you get your kids attention (or even your own) off of the gifts you get?
- How much is too much when it comes to giving your kids gifts for Christmas?
- What are your favorite service-oriented things to do during Christmas?
- Is Santa a naughty or nice Christmas tradition and why?
- What Christmas traditions have you chosen not to follow, and what have you replaced them with?
- If you’ve chosen to do Santa, how can you use him to point your kids to Jesus?
- Do lighting displays add to or detract from the real meaning of Christmas?
- What kinds of gifts can you give to non-Christian friends that make Jesus attractive?
- What are your best ideas for using Christmas to spur conversations about Jesus?
- Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas – Does it really matter?
- Should we boycott stores based on Christian principles during the Holidays?
- How do you deal with the Grinches in your life this Christmas?
- How do you deal with Christmas as a joyous family time when family is hard?
- What do you know about the Biblical concept of hospitality and how do you apply that during the Christmas season?
- How do you find spiritual refreshment in the midst of an exhausting season?
- When do the excesses of Christmas cross the line from communicating the lavishness of God’s love for us to fostering excess, greed and pride?
- How do you respond to feeling like someone else “does Christmas better” than you?
- What is the most meaningful Christmas memory you have?