5 Friday Favorites

Ah, gift giving. It’s the best, right? The chance to be generous, to find something that she’ll adore, that he’ll go crazy for. Wrapping a gift thinking about the joy it will bring to the recipient’s heart—it makes me all sorts of giddy . . . unless you have no idea what to get for someone, and the clock is ticking, and the traffic is terrible, and you can’t find their size, and you finally throw something—anything—into a gift bag hoping they’ll maybe like it. Or at least pretend to.

Yeah, the joy of gift-giving can turn into the frustration of gift-giving faster than you can say “brown paper packages tied up with string.”

The motivation to find a special gift for a loved one is a precious thing: the desire to show love, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

But the frustration sets in when we don’t have the money or the time, and nothing, absolutely nothing, seems like the right fit. Bye bye, Christmas joy! Hello, wrapping-paper-ripping-fits.

I can’t cure all our Christmas shopping woes, but I can offer a few tips and suggestions to help keep our gift-giving in the selfless and joyful category, before it descends into frenzied, last-minute, shopping-at-CVS-on-Christmas-Eve desperation.

I’ve got five festive gift ideas for you, but first, here are a few Christmas shopping tips:

  • Start early! Avoid that last-minute rush by starting now. You won’t regret it. Plus, hiding away gifts in secret spots weeks ahead of Christmas is way too fun.
  • Thoughtful over extravagant. I love to be as generous as possible, but it’s good to keep in mind that sometimes the most thoughtful gift doesn’t need to be pricey. I love to give gifts that say, “I was thinking about you and knew this would mean a lot to you.” Those kinds of gifts don’t always have the biggest price tag! Sometimes they’re even handmade.
  • Three cheers for online shopping! I do 95 percent of my Christmas shopping online cozied on the couch in front of my Christmas tree. It’s relaxing, and I avoid the traffic nightmare in my town. Plus, most retailers offer free shipping and some kind of discount these days, so I cash in on those deals! (Online shopping may be tricky if you don’t have a credit card, but maybe you could ask your parent to use theirs and pay them back with cash right away.)
  • Don’t skip the wrapping. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a gift that’s wrapped with care speaks volumes—no matter what’s inside! You don’t have to be a professional wrapper. Just wrap a gift with love. When I wrap gifts, I spread everything out on the floor, turn on a Christmas movie, and go to town. This is when I get super excited about watching everyone unwrap them!

As you begin your Christmas shopping, here are five favorite Christmas gift ideas for you!

1. True Cotton Hope and Scripture Card Set

I recently found this True Cotton Art card set at a craft fair—and met the artist! It’s an adorable fun-pack of verse cards that insert into a tiny wooden stump to display and swap out. (Once you see a photo, it will all make sense). These cards are a pretty way to place God’s words of hope in a little corner of your home! It’s just $10 on Etsy.

2. Laurel Keller Designs

I’m such a fan of my friend Laurel’s handlettering designs! You can purchase and download her digital files from Etsy and print them on the item of your choosing—T-shirts, banners, mugs, tote bags, blankets, you name it! Her Christmas designs are especially festive gift ideas. Have fun browsing her shop and getting creative with personalized gifts.

3. Quality Time

Got a person on your gift list who may be a bit difficult to buy for . . . but they’d really be thrilled to simply spend time with you? Give quality time! Invite them on a coffee date, or plan an entire adventure day for you and your siblings, or offer to help your grandparents decorate their tree and do some baking afterward. It doesn’t need to be extravagant—it’s just meant to be special. Time spent together. It’s a precious gift!

4. Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart

I have gifted Gracelaced to many a friend and family member! I swoon and swoon over Ruth Chou Simmon’s artwork, and she’s an incredible writer to boot. This lovely, high-quality devotional is filled with gorgeous watercolor paintings, journaling space, and thirty-two Scripture-laced devotional writings to turn your heart toward Jesus, no matter what season you’re facing. I truly adore this book; it makes a lovely gift that will encourage someone’s heart!

You can get Gracelaced at nearly any bookstore, but I found it here for $17.49.

5. Hallmark Ornaments

Growing up, my Grammy used to give each member of my family a Hallmark ornament every Christmas—and she selected the ornaments specifically for each person. My mom has since taken over that tradition, and I adore it. As I unbox each ornament and hang them on my tree, I remember the thoughtfulness of my Grammy, and the memories flood my heart. My tree is speckled with Disney princesses, Winnie the Pooh, winter fairies, ballerinas, and now Star Wars ships (thanks to my husband), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Take a peek at the Hallmark ornaments and see if you find the perfect one for someone!

What fabulous gifts would you add to the list?

About Author

Samantha Nieves

Samantha loves grammar, lazy lake days, iced green tea, and writing about the glorious gospel truths that transform our everyday lives. A northern Indiana native, Samantha now lives in South Carolina and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

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