Still searching for meaningful Christmas gifts for family or friends, rather than just more commercial items? There's still time to consider the following options, designed to make a lasting impact in the universe.
A few tips for shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts include:
- Consider an instant gift, which can be purchased online and emailed instantly.
- Add gift wrapping to the order and have it sent directly to the recipient's address.
- Bake an item from scratch and deliver it on the doorstep of an unexpecting person, along with a Bible verse especially complementary with Christmas.
- Experiences, classes and activities can all be instant gifts when purchased on behalf of someone else.
Through World Vision — a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities in 100 countries to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice — a child can be sponsored, financial donations made for urgent needs or life-saving gifts can be sent through the 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog. A free electronic card can be sent to your recipient, or a card can be printed out and given in-person. Each card includes a photo, a description of the gift and a personalized message option.
Adopting animals, such as with the Endangered Wolf Center, making donations, or becoming members can provide a really good feeling about the contributions. Many U.S. zoos and animal sanctuaries now provide webcams for online viewing of animals supported.
Themed fruit gift baskets can be sent through companies, such as Edible Arrangements. They provide same-day service, and some of their arrangements include snowmen containers and Merry Christmas balloons. A peace and doves bouquet may be especially pleasing to Christians. Most of these type of companies have a couple different price ranges from which to choose.
Gas cards make thoughtful gifts when paired with a gift card for a coffee shop located near the recipient's church or place of worship, accompanied with a "A Tank and Give Thanks" special handwritten note.
Provide one copy of a Christ-centered publication, such as Bible Study Magazine, and the receipt for a paid year's subscription. Christianity Today is one of the leading Christian magazines available, both online and in printed format.
Gourmet food packed baskets, along with a photo of a second basket intended to be donated to a local food pantry, can delight recipients. One Bible verse that could accompany such a gift is John 6:35: "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Give a charity gift card, which can be sent electronically, so that recipients can choose from a list of participating organizations. One company that provides this service, CharityChoice, has gift cards available starting at $2. It provides a selection of more than 1,000 charities.
For musically inclined people, an iTunes gift card, accompanied with a thoughtful list of top Christian music, bands and concerts, might send recipients singing.
If there's no time for shipping, there are many instant gifts available, recommends ChristmasGift.com: Sign friends or family members up for a performance, class, day trip, or vacation. Interesting concepts include hot air balloon rides, race car driving, museum special events or diving with great white sharks! These type of activities can be registered for online and redeemed at a later date.
To liven up a prepaid gift card or printable certificate, tuck it into an item that references where it will be used. For example, if giving tickets to the aquarium, give them with a blue whale poster or CD. If ordering a personalized necklace, present the receipt on a stuffed bear.