This holiday shopping season, check out four gift ideas that might surprise you for those important people in your life — and one idea just for you.
What’s on your wish list for yourself this Christmas?
* * *
5. Give a goat to celebrate your G.O.A.T.
We’ve all had that teacher, that coach, that coworker who hits it out of the park every time. They have the raw talent and the work ethic. The gold standard isn’t enough for them. They give it their ALL. In your mind, they are the Greatest Of All Time. The G.O.A.T.
I think of my son’s sixth grade flag football coach. We’d played a lot of sports over the years, and I appreciate everyone who’s stepped up to coach, but then there’s this guy, and no one else comes close. Always early. Runs the kids hard and fair. Has fun. Does extra work to include players with disabilities. Lets my younger son practice with them.
This Christmas, show respect to the G.O.A.T. in your life with the gift of a real, live goat, given in their name to a family across the world. That goat will help empower a family with milk, money, and more — and it’ll make your G.O.A.T. feel extra worthy of their title!
4. Give a good morning to the person who absolutely delights you
I go to a Bible study at my dad’s house every other Thursday morning, and it’s full of coffee and pancakes and talking about Jesus. It’s early, but I always feel so full inside in more ways than one when I go. It’s the definition of a good morning for me.
My dad is really good at asking “go around” questions. Like, “Okay, let’s go around and tell about what’s the most trouble you got into at school?” One morning we were studying Psalm 1 and what it means to delight in Scripture, and he had a great opening question: “What person delights you? Or you absolutely light up when you see them?”
It’s a great question to ask yourself, who delights you? There’s someone that comes to mind instantly. Mine is my wife. She is gentle steel, and she is my favorite person in the entire world. I show her that by bringing her coffee every morning, doctored in her precise way, before attempting to talk to her. She’s an introvert in a family brimming with extroverted kids (including me). Her perfect morning is quiet caffeine. I delight in her, and I want her to have exactly that!
Who delights you? Give them the gift of a good morning with this organic coffee blend. If you’re like me and my dad, do it with the condition that it comes with a morning of hanging out. If you’re like my wife, give it with the condition that they get a couple hours by themselves because you’re taking the kids to the park.
3. Honor the maximizer in your life with gift ideas that multiply
You either know a maximizer, or you are one. It’s a trait that is both a greatest strength and greatest weakness. Much money is saved — but the last drop must be wrung out of everything. Sweaters over thermostats. Value menus over meal deals. Re-gifts over regular gifts. Garage sales over all other sales. And there is only one drink worth ordering at a restaurant: water.
I have a confession. This is me. Although, I have relaxed a little over the years.
What gift could ever please a toothpaste-tube-roller-upper like myself? Gifts that maximize, of course! That’s why I love all the gifts that multiply in the World Vision Gift Catalog. Thanks to government grants and donations from corporations, you can give gifts in your maximizer’s honor that multiply four, five, or even seven times in value! Your gift can fight hunger, or protect kids, or give clothes, or do all kinds of wonderful things. There are almost 20 different categories for this idea, and your maximizer will be proud of every single hardworking dollar you donate in their name.
2. Give a green thumbs up to the gardener in your life
I enjoy the idea of a yard more than I enjoy the actual yard. For instance, I was ecstatic that my son and I were going on a local mission trip to work at a farm that provides all the produce for the region’s food banks. We planted seeds for three hours (yay!) and then the hammer fell — we weeded cabbage for the final three hours (boo!). My son’s attitude wilted along with my ability to walk. I was proud of the work, but it’s not my calling.
That’s why I love my neighbor. Her yard looks like the backdrop for a sensible British novel. She’s so talented that she always has extra plants that grow and don’t fit in her yard anymore. She’s always coming over, “Hey, do you want these strawberries? This baby tree? This <insert green thing>?” And I, as a maximizer, am overjoyed. Yes! I want all the free plants! Yes! You are always welcome in my yard.
My mom is the same way. When it comes to gardening, she’s my Google. She took a master gardening course years ago, and she and my dad planted a garden that was featured in Better Homes & Gardens. And here stands their son, whom even indoor ferns fear. I’m not proud of me, but I am so proud of them!
What could I do to repay them? I could give fruit trees or fast-growing seeds to pay it forward in their name and help kids and families across the world grow their own food! This is such a great gift for the friendly farmer in your life — and it will make them proud of you for making the world a greener place.
1. Give yourself the gift of being chosen
Okay, this time the gift is for you (and it’s really fun)! You’ve probably heard about child sponsorship and how it makes a kid feel to know they’ve been chosen by a sponsor. But what if it were the other way around? What if the power to choose were in the child’s hands? Here’s how it works: You submit a picture of yourself, we send it to a community in need, and then one of thousands of kids waiting for a sponsor will choose you out of a group of photos.
The surprise of finding out who chose you is one of the best parts. The anticipation has been called that “Christmas morning feeling.” Even better? You’ll get to hear why they chose you!
On the flip side, this is even more amazing for the child.
I’ve had people bring this up with me out of the blue. I was talking to my pastor the other night and he said, “I love the new thing World Vision is doing.” I asked, “What thing in particular?” He said, “The thing where the kids pick their sponsors. It’s great! It gives kids agency.” He went on to say that this is how it should be done because agency (or the ability to have some power over your own life) is one of the biggest issues he’s seen in places he’s visited — like rural Bolivia.
Kids need to know that they can make choices that affect their own lives. That they can have dreams and then go after those dreams. They need as many people as possible in their corner to encourage them in this way. That they don’t have to do what’s always been done. That poverty doesn’t have to be poverty forever.