No Christmas Presents this Year {But a cool DaySpring giveaway!}


“I thought I’d let you know I’m not doing Christmas presents this year so please don’t get me anything.”

For years now, I’d exchanged gifts with my dear friend. But not this time. Something in me had dried up. There was no excitement. No joy. Gift-buying was becoming more and more a responsibility, an expectation to meet, contrived and burdensome in an already overly packed life.

So I punched the numbers on the cell and called my friend, vulnerably sharing with her how the activities and food and stacks of Christmas cards, the lights on the tree, the turkey in the oven, the ceremonial gift exchanges, well, they were feeling more a duty than a blessing and I needed a break.

And oh the joy of her understanding grace. She’d felt this way before, too!

Christmas had always been my favorite time of the year. A valid reason to slow down and focus on what truly matters. A joyous time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, this beautiful gift of God with us. Yet it didn’t feel worth it this year, the frenzy to find just the right gift for folks. {But how else to show my gratitude for everyone from close friends to our occupational therapist to the lawn care guy, right?}

Christmas was feeling a lot more holiday than holy, my guilt shaping my gift list rather than joy or Love.

So I quit. Other than family members living in the same household with me, I didn’t give gifts that year. My decision hurt some feelings. And while that grieved me, it proved my concern that we, both sender and recipient, had somehow moved away from the Love behind it all.

Because you really can mean the world to me even if I don’t buy you a single thing.

That year’s reprieve helped me as I slowly and painstakingly released the opinion of others and surrendered my own misguided motivations. {It’s not easy, friend!} But by the time next Christmas rolled around, my joy returned.

The thing is, I’m a giver.

Deep in the core of my being, I love to give. But my love language got a little twisted when things became about what I needed. I needed to touch everyone I cared about or appreciated, lest they think I don’t love them. And I needed the gift to matter to them.

Truth is, I can’t buy the lavish gifts I would love to buy for everyone. Then there are some folks, though I care deeply for them, I can’t gift anything. And that has to be okay. With all of us, really. So I started over, learning to gift myself first.

Each Christmas now, I take some time lingering with those strings of lights and the meal planning and especially that nativity scene as I pause to consider what the teenage-bride Mary must have felt as she beheld the greatest gift of all.

I gift my heart the space it needs to consider the purest motivations of the season, both giving and receiving as an act of surrender to God.  And these days when I’m able to give gifts, I enjoy the effort. I love matching the gift {as best I can} to the heart of the receiver, not needing anything in return.

Because long, long ago, a babe in a manger modeled for us how to give like that, right?



Okay, I can’t write a blog post on gift-giving without sharing with you how DaySpring made it so much easier for me this year by bundling up some of their favorite gifts selections. My grand-daughter Lacey is a bundle of positivity, so she loves Sadie Robertson’s Live Original line. Check this out, friend: An entire selection of all things Sadie gift sets. Seriously. AND when you use the code SADIE25, you’ll nab 25 percent off all things SADIE plus FREE SHIPPING the week of 12/4-12/9!

(And no, this is not an affiliate link. We simply LOVE DaySpring in our house and I had to pass on the savings. Merry Christmas.)


Do you ever struggle with gift-giving? Give us a shout out in the comments below and we’ll enter you to win a FREE Live Original collection!  {And if you share the post with others, we’ll give you an extra entry.}

Sadie Robertson Live Original Gift Set


36 thoughts on “No Christmas Presents this Year {But a cool DaySpring giveaway!}

  1. My greatest gift is giving of myself to others and helping others in their time of need, maybe that is why I am a nurse. A thankless jobs, I don’t need gifts to know I am loved and appreciated at Christmas, just being with friends and family is my greatest gift!

    • Saying a special prayer for you this moment Melaina, that this season things will be different. It can be hard, I know. Give yourself lots of grace, friend.

  2. well hey lovely,

    Ive been where youre at, I think if were honest we all can say that we’ve felt the world devert our time and attention away from the manger. I love you girlie and hope that youre loving youre new place.

  3. My love language is words of affirmation so gift giving has always been a challenge. But the words I write in cards really hit hearts.

    • Love words of affirmation. I often struggle to find just the right card as well. I think I just make it too hard sometimes.

      Seriously though, for those of us who love words of affirmation I can already envision so much you could do with that. Ha!

  4. Thankyou for sharing so open and vulnerably, I too struggle with the expectations that I set for myself during the holidays. Last year I was hospitalized for six days during the holiday season and the recovery was and is still tiring and long. Last year I didnt do any christmas shopping , cooking or baking. My husband did the christmas shopping and it turned out great. I now realize that christmas doesnt have to be a struggle to make the perfect christmas for my family , I am simply happy to be here on earth with my family after experiencing a very near death circumstance. I am happy to say I have baked cookies with my daughter and also have been enjoying christmas music since october lol!

    • Me too, Amanda . . . the Christmas music started in October!!

      Praying this season is much more restful for you, and that complete recovery comes quickly.

  5. I do find gift giving to be hard sometimes. I want to give meaningful gifts, but time and budget constraints can be a challenge. Also, there is the occasional person whom I just have no idea what to give. 🙂

  6. What a great giveaway I love giving gifts it blesses me with the assurance I can make someone else’s day better I love DaySpring products and gifts they have !

  7. Oh, yes, I’ve been there, too. Happy to say the joy also returned with a new and abundantly more love for the reason we celebrate.

  8. So grateful for this post. I have felt guilty for nor being “more generous” with gift giving- but by the time I tried to find the “right” gift for everyone, I couldn’t enjoy the giving of it.

    Love loving on my friends rather than exhausting myself to get a gift that may or Mai not connect.

    Sadie looks like a great collection for my daughter. Thanks for the idea

    Blessings on you JoAnn!

  9. I did when I had to buy them all. Now I try to do a homemade Christmas. We also do not run during the holidays anymore bit enjoy being home and with each other. I had to learn the Christmas is Christ and Christ is Christmas.

  10. I love giving gifts but unfortunately I have a family that doesn’t so it makes it hard to keep doing it when it doesn’t seem to matter but giving always gives me joy.

  11. Love this bundle. I love to give gifts. Many times though I give during the year and not during Christmas and other holidays. Too hard to buy for everyone at the same time! lol

    • That’s one of the hardest parts of the season. That we break bread with and gift folks that we often don’t during the year. I so wish it weren’t like this. That this Spirit of compassion and love and giving weren’t isolated. 🙂

  12. I have missed your words and reading your heart so very much. It’s so good to hear from you again.

    I love this post in so many ways. This is the reason hubby and I have stopped birthday parties. We’ve termed them family dinners, come over for dinner but please no gifts and no hoopla. We simply want to spend time with those we love most. And Christmas is one of those times where we’ve stepped back also, especially this year. It can so easily be about the gifts, what and how much, that we totally miss the time spent with loved ones and what this season really stand for.

    Love you, my friend. Wishing you a happy and blessed season with your loved ones. <3

  13. Merry Christmas, dear one! Praying for your beautiful heart right now. <3
    "Did we in our own strength confide,
    Our striving would be losing;
    Were not the right Man on our side,
    The Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be?
    Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth His Name,
    From age to age the same,
    And He must win the battle."

  14. I want to give gifts that are meaningful and appriciated but, since the divorce of my son from his wife that is hard. I don’t think any of the gifts that I have given to her have been kept. I understand the anger towards my son but, to have so much anger towards me and to keep me from my granddaughter and not allow her to receive cards and gifts breaks my heart.
    This just might be a gift she would accept.

    • Praying a reconciliation in the heart of your granddaughter’s mom’s heart that will allow you to have a healthy relationship with your granddaughter. Close as I am to my own granddaughter, I can’t imagine how this grieves your heart Lea, and I am praying.

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