You’re a little late to the party, but by the time you arrive, you see the perfect gift wrapped and gingerly placed in front of you. The place is a bit of a mess, but no one cares, and the joy in the air is palpable. People are smiling, crying, and laughing, all because of that one perfect gift: our Saviour King, Jesus Christ, resting in a humble manger. Did something else come to mind when you were reading the first couple of sentences? If you answered yes, that’s perfectly okay. Buying and giving gifts will always be a part of Christmas, but do we, maybe, place more weight on material traditions than on the spirit of the season? Perhaps, right?Here’s a twist on Christmas gifts that are affordable yet meaningful and, best of all, will deepen your faith and the faith of the people who receive them.Spend some time doing something they love
Are you an avid “let’s do that later” busy bee? Take it from someone who’s both heard and given that response many times: the best gift you can give your loved one is quality time with you. Go to the dog park together, cook that new recipe together, play that board game you hate but they love. Sacrificing your preferences and priorities for a day could mean so much to someone you love.Offer up Mass or Holy Hour
Don’t underestimate the hidden spiritual gifts we have in the Eucharist: it’s literally Jesus! How can you top that? If your loved one is Catholic, you can also invite them to that special Mass or Holy Hour so that you can be with Jesus together.Fast from something difficult for a special intention
The key here is to fast from something you normally “can’t live without,” so that you can unite your suffering with Christ’s for your loved one’s special intention. This could look like: skipping a meal for your relative who has cancer, staying off social media for your friend who is struggling with chastity, or taking a cold shower for your loved one who is battling alcoholism. Your fast may not yield a result right away, but God can still use your sacrifice for His greater glory.Write a personal prayer card
You don’t have to be the most eloquent writer, but be thoughtful in what you include in the prayer and think of the person receiving your prayer card. You’re creating something that they could potentially have in their wallet or by their bedside to pray with when they need to. For some spontaneity: put the card inside the pocket of a coat or jacket your loved one wears often, and don’t tell them that it’s there. They’ll just find it one day, maybe even on a day they need it most, and be encouraged to pray.Some of you might come to the end of this list and still think, “But are these gifts good enough?” I’d say so. Each of these gifts are meaningful, from the heart, and desire the good of the receiver. Giving physical gifts is good and beautiful, but perhaps we should put less pressure on ourselves to find the perfect gifts to give others and more emphasis on the Perfect Gift that’s already been given to us. Remember that Jesus was but a baby in a manger on a silent night. He is truly the Gift that keeps on giving.