The Season of Gift-Giving

For many of us, December is a season of gift-giving. But in the midst of consumerism it can be easy to get lost in the desire for more …until we forget about the reasons we are giving in the first place. For Christians anyway, we celebrate this season because God is with us. In Jesus Christ, God dwells with us and is the very incarnation of love. In the spirit of this gracious gift, we give as we have received: openly, abundantly, extravagantly, all for the sake of love.

As we near Christmas celebrations and holiday festivities here are some tips to help you keep Christ in the center.

1. Shop fair trade
Fair trade is good for people and the environment. By shopping fair trade you support fair living wages and safe working environments for artisans and craftspeople around the globe. No sweatshops or child labor here! In addition to being good for producers, fair trade is good for consumers, too. It allows us to be thoughtful and intentional about how we spend our money and to use our resources in ways that promote life for all people. I’d call that a win-win! You can find a variety of fair trade products online with a google search and a little bit of digging, but here are some of my favorite places to shop fair trade:
The Bridge:
Plowsharing Crafts:

2. Shop local
Like shopping fair trade, shopping locally supports producers, business owners, and artists in your own community. Spending locally keeps money in the community, where it in turn is invested back into the area. Take some time to research the local businesses in your neighborhood and city. Consider supporting them as you do your shopping during the holiday season, but also for your day to day needs. (P.S. the fair trade businesses listed above are all locally owned businesses, too!)

3. Explore options for charitable giving
Instead of participating in traditional gift giving, you may also consider giving to non-profit organizations in honor of loved ones. This kind of giving allows you to support the ministries and programs that mean the most to you and the people you love. Take some time to think about your values and see how your gift-giving aligns with them. This can also be another way to support your local community, too. Donations to food pantries, organizations supporting those experiencing homelessness, or shelters for those fleeing domestic abuse are all good places to start. Below are a few other ideas for good giving:
ELCA Good Gifts:
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:
Lutherans Restoring Creation: css-elca/org/lrc

We’d love to hear from you! Comment below and let us know what was helpful or share other tips about mindfulness this giving season. Happy gifting!

Pastor Melissa

2 thoughts on “The Season of Gift-Giving”

  1. At first I was surprised to see a Santa Claus on the church web site. But then, I read the statement below the picture and I understand. The church has also become a very large business and often action is taken for business reasons instead of love for others.

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