I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some Gifts Cannot Be Purchased at the Mall

Photo Credit

At the moment, my life mirrors the old Christmas lyrics, “making a list, checking it twice”. Did I get something for each one? Was it enough? It made this Ponderer do a little pondering about all the hustle and bustle over gift giving.

How did it start? Is it worth it?

Gift-giving started with God himself, and He gave the ultimate gift on the very first Christmas. “For God so loved the world that He gave….”

Sometimes I like to stop right there for a moment. He loved, and He gave. I think that it’s pretty well impossible to not give if you truly love. Oh, it doesn’t have to be expensive gifts or even material gifts at all. 

My mother has modeled this to me with her specialty of giving the right gift to the right person at the right time. Some of these gifts have cost thousands of dollars, but some have cost only a phone call or a brief note sent through the mail.

Let’s consider, for a moment, some of the gifts that could mean more than the latest gadget or newest style. How about the gift of time? It’s one thing to rush into a store and grab a gift for a grandmother, but maybe she would appreciate a visit even more—just some time to reminisce about old times or hear all the up-to-date news about the family.  

I’m not saying to forget about the material gifts, but maybe this Christmas, as we consider the One who God Himself gave, we can add to our list some invaluable gifts such as encouragement, support, and kindness.

Please share with us any non-materialistic gift you plan to give or have received this year! 

Everyone who comments will be entered in a drawing for a copy of Lisa Jordan’s new book Lakeside Reunion!

Merry Christmas!
Teri Dawn Smith


  1. Terri, what a beautiful post. I love the diffeent kinds of "gifts" you mentioned. Some of the non-materialistic gifts I've received this year are encouragement and affirmation from writing and non-writing friends as I walk the writing journey. Unwavering support from my husband, in life, and in writing. Exuberant hugs from my kiddos are a few that come to mind.

    I hope your Christmas is merry and filled with gifts of the most valuable kind!
    P.S. Please don't enter me for the drawing--I have the book. :)

  2. I'm giving the gift of time on a special project this year...but I'm not going to give the details just in case the recipient reads this. :) Also, three of my close friends and I started the tradition a couple years ago of each giving to a special cause/charity in each other's honor instead of gifts...we really enjoy doing that.

    Great post, Teri! Merry Christmas!

  3. Jeanne, I love the gifts of encouragement, affirmation, and support! That's the giving of the best kind!

  4. Oooh, Melissa, you've got us pondering your mystery gift! But I love the idea of "the gift of time" and your idea of giving to a charity! Very cool!

  5. Wish I was better at this - but I am glad I clicked the right prompt to read your post. Bless you lots Terri. Now, are you really in Spokane, or is that another post. Bless you lots,

    December 21
    Luke 2 . Unto you is born a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord
    ( Thank Him )

  6. Teri,

    I love seeing you post, that's a Christmas gift in itself! I also love your idea of giving something non-material. I know sometimes I could be better about just giving my time, or a plate of extremely valuable (to me) Christmas cookies or something. Great idea!

  7. Beautiful post, Teri, and completely the heart of Christmas.

    I love to give gifts. I love to see people's expressions when they unwrap them. Seeing them happy warms my heart. I love to unwrap gifts too--not necessarily for keeping the gift. I just like to unwrap presents. :D

    Gifts of time, encouragement and affirmation are priceless and ones I hope to give on a daily basis--not just through the year.

    The best gift I received this year was my hubby reading my novel and my oldest son reading it and sending me a beautiful text telling me he thinks I'm an amazing writer who wrote a great book. Yes, I have the text saved.

    Another gift that was priceless is hearing my 14-year-old niece who has special needs learn how to read. God's daily miracles are presents we often take for granted.

    Blessings to you, sweet friend!

  8. Teri,

    I love gifts of time. My favorite! (Not hard to guess that my love language is quality time.) Thanks for a wonderful post! I hope your Christmas is filled with beautiful gifts.

  9. Hi, Teri! Good to see your post!
    TJ has been feeling the financial strain of being a homeowner, so our non-materialistic gift to him and all our children this year for Christmas is: no gift-giving! That's not what Christmas is about anyway!
    Love, April.

  10. Enjoyed your post Teri.

    This year I am transferring any vhs tapes of my daughters as young children onto dvds. We always have had such fun watching them. Now they can enjoy them with their husbands.

    Also, making a trip to the food pantry.

    Merry Christmas!


  11. Julie, What an awesome idea!!

  12. April, we all have the best gift already when God sent his Son!

  13. Oh, Teri, how delightful to see you posting again on the Ponderers. You are such an inspiration to me -- to all of us.
    I love Julie's ideas of transfering VHS tapes to DVDs ... hmmm, great idea!

  14. Great post, Teri. Just seeing it is a great gift!
    I'm giving several handmade gifts this year, but I agree with you that the greatest gift of all is God's gift of love-His Son.

  15. ...and the winner of Lisa Jordan's new book, Lakeside Reunion is April! Enjoy!

  16. Somehow I forgot to check this blog yesterday, but so good to hear from you, Teri. You are a wonderful gift. I posted on our blog about receiving the wonderful gift of most of my home being painted inside. When prompted, I sometimes edit for people as a gift & did find the only existing video of my deceased mother & had that transferred to DVD for family members. Blessings to you!