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Gifts and Giving
Photo: Richard Sweet
A friend of mine posted a blog recently that caught my attention. In essence, she requested that if any of her friends were interested in giving her a gift in the upcoming holiday season, she would appreciate it if they would instead donate money in her name to the following charities, which she listed. I’ve seen people make similar requests after the death of a family member or for a wedding, but not quite so often for Christmastime and it inspired me.

I thought of an oft-heard quote from St. Francis of Assisi, which states, “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” As the Christmas season approaches, we have a wonderful opportunity to let our hearts and actions speak the gospel to those around us. In Matthew 25:35-36, Jesus notes that those who are blessed by the Father and receive the kingdom prepared for them are those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, took in the stranger, clothed the naked, looked after the sick, and visited the imprisoned. As we celebrate the holidays and enjoy the special time of giving to our friends and family, let’s not forget those in need around us.


Whether it is donating toys to provide Christmas gifts to children in poverty or making a monetary gift to a charitable organization, there are multitudes of ways to share what God has given us and preach the gospel through our actions during this season. Find out if your local church has a canned food drive you can contribute to. You might discover whether your community has a program to reach out to immigrants who have just arrived in your area from another country and help them feel at home. Or perhaps you’d like to follow my friend’s example and request that friends and family give gifts in your name to a number of organizations.

Regardless of the specifics, as we move into the holiday season, let’s prayerfully keep those less fortunate than us in our thoughts and ask God to open up opportunities for us to share His love with others! This Christmas as we remember the greatest gift of all, through our own giving we can preach the gospel (even without words!) and show His grace and love to others.

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Danae Schilt. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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