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5 Great Christmas Gifts for Almost Anyone

'Tis the season for spreading joy and cheer, and demonstrating our love for friends and family through the annual Christmas tradition of gift giving! I remember as a child that my mom and dad only got a handful of dry and very predictable gifts - a can of roasted peanuts and some new dress shirts for my dad. And for my mom - a Jean Nate bath gift set and maybe a new pair of slippers. And I would think to myself, "Gosh, I don't want to get old because the presents are pretty stinky at that age!" And off I'd scamper with my cool Crayola Caddy, sticky roller ball lip gloss, neon green jacket with cursive embroidery, and new Cabbage Patch doll. Life was good!

Well, their age is now my age, my friends. And it turns out the simple gifts are not so bad after all. Simple is good. Inexpensive is good. Heartfelt is good. So if you are looking for something meaningful for that special someone, something to add life to their years, here are a few ideas I wanted to share:

  1. The Wingfeather Saga book series - BUY THIS FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW! Every household needs a set. Thanks to a dear friend, we discovered this series during the height of the Covid pandemic, and I can't tell you how inspiring it was to read this very relevant story with my kids while the world was absolutely losing its mind. We (to include my husband) have read all 4 books, and just a few weeks ago, I decided to begin re-reading them all over again. The story delivers all the feels, and I couldn't love it more. It has made me think more deeply about faith, courage, forgiveness, grace, freedom, fear, family, sacrifice and suffering. Because of the lovable and brave main characters, I look differently now at my children - trying to find that delicate balance between protecting them from darkness and equipping them for the darkness they are sure to encounter one day. I love that the child protagonists are bold and gutsy. I also appreciate that the book depicts parents and other adults as capable and caring. They aren't without their funny quirks and flaws, but they are profoundly cherished and respected by the children in the story. We need more epic tales like this! Stories that honor and elevate the family.

  2. Outdoor winter gear - Whatever your special someone needs to get moving and thrive outside this winter, be sure they have it! If you are in a cold location, make sure they have a warm coat, gloves, hat and scarf. If you're in a sunny climate, maybe it's time for new flipflops, a beach towel, swim goggles, or rollerblades. Humans are created for Nature, and Nature for humans, and too many of us are spending far too many hours holed up inside, staring at screens and suffering from perpetual Pancake Butt, entertaining ourselves for hours on end in comfortable climate-controlled rooms under dreadful fluroscent lighting. Get Thee Outdoors! No excuses!

  3. A Challenge - Young or old, there is always something new to learn. I'm planning to pull out my old sewing machine this month to teach my daughter some basics. (I hope I remember what my mom taught me!) The boys are taking an 8-week course to learn sign language. This year I asked my husband for a grain mill, because I want to know how to grind my own flour from organic grains and legumes, and perhaps find a bread recipe that all of us can enjoy - even the wheat and gluten sensitive ones. My husband is always the challenging person to buy for, but we talked about maybe getting either a smoker or a Trager so we have more options for meat preparation. Granted, this would not be an inexpensive gift, but one that certainly pays us back over time!

  4. New Pillows - I won't pretend to know of a great brand to buy, but I would just recommend finding one that supports the person's sleeping style, avoiding as many synthetics as you can, and definitely investing in the allergenic cover. We have some pathetic-looking pillows around here, and they are all about to get tossed and replaced. It's time. Our necks and noses say so.

  5. YOUR BEST HEALTH - Is there anything more important to your children and grandchildren than having you around for as long as possible, living vibrantly and independently, and participating meaningfully in their lives? Is there anything more precious that you could give to your spouse than a clear mind, a resilient body, and a steady spirit to continue walking faithfully alongside him or her? Yes, our bodies do age. Yes, we do get sick sometimes. And no, we can't cling to youth forever. But I believe many of us are living FAR BELOW what God has designed for us simply because we are enslaved to our own bad habits and self-destructive coping strategies. Change is hard, but anything worth doing is hard! Maybe this Christmas is the turning point for you or someone you love. Overhaul the diet. Get outdoors. Move and enjoy activity. Forgive. Heal. Restore. Get off as many medications as safely possible. Replace bad habits with life-giving alternatives. Seize the day, give of yourself generously, and live life to the full, for that is why Jesus - the ultimate gift - was given to us.

However you choose to celebrate the season, I hope you will be surrounded by the people you love doing the healthy things you love to do. Slow life down, enjoy the simple gifts and rare moments of quiet stillness, and say no to some good things so you can say yes to the best things.

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