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Assistant Minister's Column

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Looking for some last minute Christmas ideas? Did you intentionally miss the Black Friday rush because you were protesting its overt commercialism or its intrusion onto Thanksgiving Day? Are you just looking for more spiritually healthful Christmas gifts? Well, here are some gift ideas that may lower your Christmas shopping stress and just might make the world a little healthier.

 Give an act of kindness. Think about something each member of your family likes. Perform an act of random kindness inspired by that person. If your son likes coffee, buy a bag of coffee and bring it to a local fire station. Does your mom like movies? Next time you are at the theater buy an extra ticket for the person behind you in line. Maybe you could leave a care package for a mail carrier, tip 100% at a restaurant, or call an elected representative and thank the staffer who answers the phone (this is especially good if you disagree with their politics). Take a picture of each act, frame it, and give it to your family members explaining what you did.

 Daily Journal. For a month keep a daily journal. During the month write down every time your loved one makes you smile or makes you happy--or when you see something that reminds you of how much you love them. Give them the journal on Christmas day.

 Buy a pothole. Our church is very close to finishing the largest capital drive in its history. You could make a gift to the church in honor of the family member. You could take a picture of a pothole in our parking lot and tell them that this is the pothole that they helped eliminate. Or you could go large and say that for Christmas, your gift is that they helped spread this transformative message that all people are worthy of love, justice and kindness.

 Give to Charity. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Select a charity that your family member likes. Give to that charity. Of course, you could always pick the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which is currently collecting money to aid the survivors in the Philippines.

 One for you, one for us. Why not give a gift that keeps on giving? Buy two fruit trees. Give one to your family member. Then they will have fruit for years to come. Plant the other one in a place where the general public can harvest its fruits.


Whatever you decide, give out of love and give out of caring.