There are al­ter­na­tives for those who don’t want gifts

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

Our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren keep ask­ing us what we’d like for Christ­mas, but we hon­estly don’t need any­thing at this stage of life. We don’t want them to think we’re un­grate­ful, but how can we tell them we don’t want any gifts?

Ad­mit­tedly peo­ple some­times give gifts only out of obli­ga­tion; they do it be­cause they think they have to. When Ja­cob was about to meet his es­tranged brother Esau, he sent lav­ish gifts ahead. He thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am send­ing” (Gen­e­sis 32:20).

But we also give gifts be­cause we love and re­spect some­one — and that’s cer­tainly the case with your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. In other words, they gen­uinely want to give you some­thing that will express their love for you.

I un­der­stand your prob­lem, how­ever — so let me make a few sug­ges­tions. First, if your grand­chil­dren are young, you might sug­gest that you’d love to get some­thing that they’ve made (per­haps in class). Sec­ond, instead of some­thing you know you’ll never use, you might sug­gest they join to give you a flower ar­range­ment or plant (such as a col­or­ful poin­set­tia) to brighten your home at Christ­mas.

But I also hope you’ll con­sider sug­gest­ing some­thing else: a gift to an or­ga­ni­za­tion or char­ity that needs your sup­port. No, you may not need any­thing — but count­less peo­ple do, and a Christ­mas gift in your honor could be of great help. Ask God to make you a bless­ing to your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren this Christ­mas. May they al­ways re­mem­ber your love for them — and most of all, your love for Christ.

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