How to Give the Best Gift this Christmas
By Brianna Smith
If you're anything like me, right about now is when I start thinking about Christmas gifts. I wish I was the person who planned months in advance, but I am rather the person that starts seeing Christmas decor in stores and thinks, "Oh yeah, Christmas is coming—I should buy gifts." It's tempting to just buy things impulsively, but as a Christian, could I be doing anything different in the Christmas season?
The Meaning of Christmas
We're all used to seeing the "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" or "Keep Christ in Christmas" slogans throughout the holidays. Many well meaning Christians see our current American cultural climate as a war against Christmas and use the weaponry of "Merry Christmas" rather than "happy holidays" and nativity scenes and Christmas carols rather than snowmen and pop Christmas hits. But what is it that we are really celebrating during this season, and how could Christians engage in this season in a way that points to Jesus to those around us?
Beneath all of the trappings of the holiday season, beneath the carols and the parties and the elaborate gifts is the celebration of the most meaningful gift of all: the gift of salvation offered freely to all who believe (Romans 6:23). This is the true meaning of Christmas, and it is one that is missed by so many amidst the busyness of life during the holidays, even those of us that follow Jesus. This is the good news not just of Christmas, but of every single day of our lives.
Give the Gift of Salvation this Christmas
So as you think about gift giving this Christmas, I want to challenge you to think of it with this greatest gift in mind. Rather than just succumbing to the marketing ploys of targeted ads showing us what we "need" or "desire" this Christmas, consider those around you and what their deepest needs and desires are. Perhaps you have neighbors that are not believers...have you thought about what you could give them this Christmas? What about the employees at your local grocery store that are overwhelmed by the consumers needing food for their holiday gatherings...have you thought about what a gift might mean to them?
Here at 10ofThose, we love to provide resources that point to Jesus, and one of the ways we do this is by producing an evangelistic Christmas book each year. This year, it is The Four Emotions of Christmas by Bob Lepine. In it, Bob discussed emotions nearly everyone has felt during the holidays at some point in their lives: disappointment, stress, and sadness. Alongside offering helpful tips on how to manage these feelings during this season, Bob shares how Jesus offers the true remedy to these feelings and how the gospel is the true reason for joy at Christmas. We've priced this book so that it is reasonable to buy in bulk with the hope and prayer that you would consider gifting it to those in your life that do not yet know Jesus so that you can share the gift of salvation with them.
Ideas for Gifting
Like this idea and wondering how to move forward with it in your community? See below for some ideas from Bob and our staff on how to give this gift thoughtfully this Christmas.
Does your church have special Christmas services in December? Talk to your pastor about buying these books to use as invitations to these services. Perhaps each member of your church could get one to give to a neighbor or friend with a personal invitation. If you need resources to help you do this, we've come up with some flyers and slides for your use.
Perhaps your church could use this book as a gift to each newcomer to your church this Christmas season with a flyer inside sharing more about how to get connected.
Do you send Christmas cards? Consider using this book as a "big Christmas card", as Bob calls it, that communicates why Christmas is so special to you.
Hosting a holiday party or attending one thrown by a friend? Consider this book as a party favor or a hostess gift.
Does your community have a Little Free Library? Consider buying a copy and leaving it in there with information about your church inside.
Is there a senior living facility in your neighborhood? Considering buying copies of this book for those that live there and include a handwritten note with Christmas wishes.
Do you make cookies and give them away during the holidays? Consider adding a copy of this book, especially if you know the person is feeling one of these emotions due to a loss or significant life change.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of how to use evangelistic books this Christmas. If you come up with other ideas, we'd love to hear about them! Email us at email@example.com or share how you are using these books on social media and tag us @10ofthoseusa.
Let's push past the temptation to be insular this Christmas or to merely celebrate the way the advertising world tells us to. Instead, let's prayerfully ask the Lord, "Who might I share the greatest gift with this Christmas?"
More Resources for Evangelism at Christmas
Looking for other books to use evangelistically at Christmas? Check out our Christmas evangelism resources here.
Read more on giving evangelistic books in this TGC article from last year by Glen Scrivener.
Listen to the author of Four Emotions talk about this book and how his church plans on using it in this podcast episode.