gifts

During Christmas, it seems like we are frequently aware of the whole gift thing & sometimes that can be kind of tricky.  Here are some ideas for gifts that could be really useful:

  • encouragement:  Christmas is a great time to put into words (even on a card) how important someone is to you, to let someone know how wonderful they are or what you admire / respect about them
  • hugs:  some people really appreciate a genuine hug during Christmas without getting sketchy 🙂
  • time:  I took one of my kids skiing yesterday & we totally enjoyed lots of time together, without phones, email, FB, etc – just being together
  • extra effort:  doing something nice for someone (bring them a cup of coffee, offer to clean their garage, run errands, etc) can be super meaningful – even creating coupons for work can be a nice gift
  • gift:  gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful

The ideas listed above are from Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages book – a super helpful way to express love in ways that are meaningful to the person receiving the gift & not just the person giving the gift 🙂

Christmas cranky

Christmas brings out the best & the worst in us.  We tend to be more generous & compassionate but at the same time more impatient and cranky.  Christmas motivates us to see the needs of people around us, like Saving Moses, but because of the increased pressure & work that can come with this season, we can also be more self-centered and less flexible.  In the next few weeks, I’m planning to do some really practical & honest blogs about dealing with Christmas.  Below are a few ideas about handling cranky people in the Christmas season:

  • remember that Christmas isn’t an easy season for many people to navigate (deaths in family, difficult memories, loneliness, financial pressures, etc)
  • if someone is cranky, don’t let their behavior & attitude infect your words or attitude
  • plan ahead to be extra patient, gracious & kind (pre-planning our attitudes is a great tool to have available when the need arises)
  • gain satisfaction from being generous & kind, not from the person’s reaction (internal versus external fulfillment)
  • keep Jesus at the center – full stop.

Going the extra mile

I find myself in some interesting positions from time to time in various relationships. Sometimes I can get frustrated & exasperated with different people because of some struggles with communication – and communication can be a really tricky topic. I have no doubt as well that I can also be frustrating & exasperating to people is well.
With that all being said, lets be mindful to go the extra mile in our relationships with patience, forgiveness, grace, gentleness & tender words & actions. I say this because I regularly find myself as the recipient of Gods abundant grace, gentleness & forgiveness – the extra mile 🙂