relational gift-giving ideas

If you're struggling to come up with something meaningful for a Christmas gift, I'd like to share with you some ideas that in some way increase the relational capacity you and another person could share over the course of a year. Some of these work best with your "special someone," while others can be applied to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and more. I originally shared these on my other blog, but thought I'd post them here, too:
  • 104 packets of gourmet hot chocolate with personalized coffee cups: Communicate your desire to catch up together at least once a week.
  • Two journals: Each person writes in one for a month, jotting down various things seen in the other person during that time. Take note of any steps of growth they're taking, outstanding qualities, potential blind spots, and so on. At the end of the month, get together over lunch and share.
  • Deck of cards and a book about card games: Use it as an excuse to hang out together.
  • Collage of special photos: Highlight your favorite memories together.
  • Bottle of sparkling cider in a picnic basket filled with wrapped deli cheese and fruit: Make plans to have a picnic together in the next week, even if it's inside.
  • Disposable camera: Devote it for the sole use of capturing future memories together.
  • Craft supplies: Do something creative together.
  • Gardening gloves with a plant or flower seeds: Work on a garden together.
  • Bread or cookie mix: Take turns making each other a round every couple of weeks, or bake together and deliver these treats to friends, family or neighbors.
  • Gourmet popcorn and movie rental gift certificates: Have a movie night every week for a month.
  • Famous BBQ sauce with basting brush: Plan a night to grill out and invite new friends into your relational circle.
  • Pancake or waffle mix with bottle of real maple syrup: Start the day off together with a sweet taste in your mouth.
  • Movie theater gift certificates: Take turns picking movies to see together - no complaints.
  • Board games: Pick selections that can draw all ages in your household(s) together.
  • Identical books: Shop for cheap selections that you can read through together.
  • Kitchen gadgets: Find recipes that force you to use them and cook for each other.
  • Two watches: Pray for each other when the alarm goes off.
  • Colorful Post-It notepads: Give each other permission to leave encouraging notes in unexpected places.
  • Puzzles: Assemble them together over dessert.
  • Pizza and football: Give a coupon/gift card for a favorite pizza chain or snack food with an invitation to a Monday Night Football party.
  • Hobby supplies: Buy an item from a hobby they love (a bat, ice skates, tennis balls, etc) and give the gift with an invitation to GO DO that activity.
  • Cheap sleds and hot cider packets: Promise to go sledding together anytime there’s more than 3 inches of snow.
  • Washable window paint: Use it all year to write encouraging or funny messages to people who pass by.
  • Bowl and notecards: Create a "prayer bowl" where you and your family write down prayer requests and praises you pray over at dinner.
  • Family journal: Use it so anyone in the household can record and recall blessings.
  • “Mad Skillz” certificate: Give certificates for something you're good at, such as "Free Oil Change" or "Free Full Meal," it to bless them.
  • Coupon book: Bind some note-cards full of relationship-appropriate coupons, such as "I will mow the yard" or “I will cook dinner.”
  • Child care punch-card: Create a punch-card for someone with kids that covers ten free nights of deluxe babysitting. Bring a full spread of activities and age-appropriate games so the kids actually want you to come back.
Got any more?
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39)

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