Sometimes the perfect gift isn't a gift at all. This year, I focused on using the gifts and talents God has blessed me with.
Here are some ideas:
Pictures!I know a lot of your bloggers are camera savvy/photographers. Offer to take family pictures for free! For those of you just starting out, this is great practice. And for those of you who are a little further along, you can do a mini session.
I did this for a couple of people in my church and it was one of the best experiences I have had. It was such a blessing for these families and they were so excited not only to have a nice picture to include on their Christmas card, but the option of printing some out for presents to grandparents. I was BLESSED to be able to use the gifts that God has given me to bless someone else. In all my years of given presents, I can honestly say that this was the best gift I have given.
BabysitOffer to watch your friend or neighbors kids. This sounds so small but can go a long way. My pastor and his wife were having a Christmas party and needed to get some last minute cleaning and cooking down. For those of you who have a 2 year old, you probably know it's almost impossible to get things clean. So, while they were getting last minute details set up I played with their sweet son.
You don't have to wait for someone to have a party though. How about babysit for a friend so they can have a holiday-date night? Or, just time to go Christmas shopping and get some wrapping done.
Cook a MealAre you a great cook? I'm not. But if you are, why don't you cook a meal for your neighbors? It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but something as simple as cooking lasagna, freezing it and delivering it can go a long way. They can put it in their freezer and pop it in the over whenever they want!
Do Something CraftyCrafty? There are SO many inexpensive things you can make on pinterest. My friend just made me coasters and gave them to me at church yesterday. I was BLOWN AWAY at how amazing they look. All she did was take white coasters and modge-podge some awesome scrapbook paper on top of them. It was so much better than her going out and buying these, because I know she put time and effort into making these.
This is just the beginning. What other gifts has God blessed you with? It can be something as small as writing a letter telling someone how thankful you are for them, or making them a mix CD with songs that remind you of your friendship.
God has already given us the perfect gift. He sent His only son to come to this earth, live among us, and die on the cross for OUR sins. While giving gifts this holiday season is fun, remember who you should really be showing gratitude to, not only this season, but in EVERYTHING we do.