"relational giving" - a concept that deals with us giving of ourselves more than stuff.
Because, after all, Christmas is about the best relational gift of all... YEAH!
Listed below are some ideas I wanted to pass along... gifts that in some way increase the relational capacity you and another person could share over the course of a year.
52 packets of gourmet hot chocolate with a personal coffee cup: So that you can share a special time together once a week.
Two journals: You each write in one for two months and write down various things you see in the other person during that time - steps of growth they're taking, outstanding qualities, any blind spots, and so on. Then at the end of two months you switch.
Deck of cards and book of card game rules: This gives you an excuse to do something to hang out together.
Collage of special photos: Highlighting your favorite memories together.
Bottle of sparkling cider and a picnic basket filled with deli cheese and fruit: Make plans to have a picnic together, even if it's inside.
Disposable camera or rolls of film: Devoted for the sole use of capturing future memories together.
Craft supplies: Geared to help you do something creative together.
Gardening gloves with a plant or flower seeds: Indicating you'll work on a garden together.
Homemade cookie mix with instructions for baking: Take turns making each other a round every couple of weeks.
Fancy magazines tied together with a pretty ribbon: Read them together and talk about the articles.
Gourmet popcorn and video rental gift certificates: Movie nights every week for a month - 'nuff said.
Locally made barbecue or steak sauce with basting brush: Use this as a way to not only spend time together but also invite some new friends into your relational circle.
Pancake or waffle mix and a bottle of real maple syrup: Sometimes you just need to start the day off together right... use this to guarantee the food is good.
Movie theater gift certificates: Take turns picking movies to see together - no complaints.
Board games: Draw people of all ages and backgrounds together through the games you play together.
Books: There are still a few for under $10 that you can read through together.
Basket filled with kitchen gadgets: Decide you'll spend some extra time finding recipes that force you to use them and cook for each other.
Prepaid long distance phone cards: Especially helpful if you are separated by miles.
A watch with an alarm on it: When it goes off you pray for each other.
Colorful Post-It notepads: Give each other permission to leave encouraging notes in unexpected places around the house
Puzzles: There's nothing like the good old fashioned task of putting the pieces of a puzzle together... and it gives you plenty of time to talk.
Got any more?