Do you have more time than money? More talent than cents? If so, being generous this Christmas does not have to be a problem. On the following lists you’ll find something almost everyone will love.
For Your Family
• Make them a series of scripture cards to put up on their mirror. You could do 12, one for each month—or 52, one for each week. Write or type their favorite scriptures on cards; you might want to decorate them with stickers or with colors. Wrap the cards and a roll of tape in a box. Don’t forget to include instructions.
• Get an inexpensive calendar—or make your own. Write all the important family dates on it, such as birthdays, anniversaries, deadlines, and vacations. Leave enough space so other events can be added. Hang the calendar in a central household location so the family can coordinate dates and activities throughout the year.
• Come up with a “Top Ten List,” type it or print it neatly by hand, then roll it up like a scroll and tie it with a ribbon. It could be funny or serious, whatever you like, and could include subjects like “Why I’m Glad You’re My Mom or Dad (or Brother or Sister),” “Things You Do for Me That I Notice,” or “The Best Times We’ve Ever Had Together.”
• Give your parents a certificate for a night out on the town. If restaurant gift certificates are too expensive, offer to make them a picnic lunch or a dinner they can take with them. Offer to baby-sit while they go.
• Find out which is your parents’ favorite temple. Perhaps it is the one they were married in, the closest one, the one they donated money to help build, or the one they hope to attend. Take a photo, draw a picture, find a print, or use a picture of the temple from a Church magazine—and frame it for them.
• Get some nice stationery or a beautiful card and write your testimony on it. Include how the gospel and your family’s example inspire you to try to be more Christlike. This will be one of the finest gifts you could ever give them.
For Your Friends
• Before school lets out for the holidays, pack a Christmas lunch for your friends and bring it to school. You could make special family recipes that your friends might not get to eat all the time, or you could find out what their favorite foods are and focus on those.
• Buy a large, inexpensive mug and put a bottle of their favorite soft drink in it. Tie a ribbon around the handle.
• Make them a scripture tree. You can buy a small tree at a store, or make one of wood or paper. The decorations can be slips of colored paper with favorite scriptures printed on them, or white cards tied with colorful ribbons. Twenty-five scriptures is a good number—one for each day in December up to and including Christmas.
• If it’s cold and snowy in your area around Christmas, give them a snowman kit: find an old hat and scarf (maybe at a secondhand store) or make them out of fabric. Make sure you include coal or buttons for eyes and mouth, and a carrot for the nose. You also might find an inexpensive broom.
• Give them a new copy of the Book of Mormon. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one. If they’re not LDS, write your testimony in it. If they are LDS, make a nice cover for it.
• Send lightweight Christmas decorations that are not bulky. The best ones can be eaten, discarded, or recycled after use—like Christmas stockings, a tree made of suckers, or chains of popcorn, candy, or colored cereal loops. (These are also easy and fun for little brothers and sisters to make.) Don’t send anything that would break, spoil, or be difficult for the missionary to pack around when the holidays are over.
• Photographs in flat, nonfragile frames make great gifts. Missionaries can never get enough pictures from home.
• If they’re serving in the same country you live in, or if you have access to stamps from their country, you could send them stamped, addressed envelopes with matching writing paper.
• Small gifts that missionaries can pass on to investigators and helpful members are always appreciated. These might include bookmarks or cards with spiritual messages.
For the Elderly
• Give them the gift of being needed. If they’re mobile and willing, help them volunteer at a soup kitchen, a children’s hospital, or anywhere else that needs help. Then you volunteer, too, and go along.
• Help decorate their residence. Supply homemade decorations, if needed, or help them put up the ones they’ve collected through the years.
• Take them to a free Christmas concert or program in your area. It’s fun for them to get out with someone polite and cheerful.
• Clean their house or do yard work or shovel snow for them. You could give them a gift certificate for the same services to be done later.
• Give them the gift of memories. A scrapbook filled with photos and memorabilia collected from family and friends would be very welcome.