The Most Unselfish Christmas, Advent Devotion #4, and We Were Made for Each Other Gift Idea

The Most Unselfish Christmas, Advent Devotion #4

READ: 

 “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for foodwill also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

REFLECT: Today’s JOY thought is taken from O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length…

Read the full story here 

REACT:  Some may call it romantic. Some may call it foolish. But O. Henry writes that Della and James are like the Magi – the three wise men who visited Jesus and brought the King of kings treasured gifts. Why do you think that he calls these two the wisest of wise?

In a completely selfless act, this man and his wife demonstrated their beautiful love for one another. What is one unselfish act you can do for your husband this Christmas? …and no I’m not suggesting you do what Della did ;o)

RESPOND: Dear God, what a glorious God You are! What wonderful gifts You have blessed us with all year long, not just at Christmas! Glory to You, King of kings for You are most worthy of praise. Forgive us the times when we have been selfish, and we haven’t loved one another or You as we should. We pray that we would learn from Your ultimate example to love sacrificially and live unselfishly. We pray that You would fill our hearts with joy and love, tenderness and compassion, thoughtfulness and sincerity this Christmas. In Christ’s Name, Amen. 

REJOICE: What are you joyful for today? I am joyful for the Lord’s provision, for His many rich and wonderful blessings, and for His ultimate selfless sacrifice.

Your Turn! Share 3 Things that you’re joyful for (regarding your husband’s differences) down in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: I typically write posts for my female readers, but for the guys who happen upon Becoming His Eve, this one’s for you. Don’t have a clue what to get your wife for Christmas? Here’s a unique idea!

We Were Made for Each Other Gift Basket 

I found this cute picture on Pinterest and it gave me an idea for a unique gift basket idea. You can use this picture and print it out on a card for your sweetheart or you can make your own list. Here are some ideas of little gifts to go along with each phrase:

Peanut to My Butter 

a Jar of peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, and/or these darling personalized peanut butter and jelly mugs from PersonalizationMall

Fun Fact: Did you know that peanut butter is actually good for your sex life? The yummy toast spread is packed with Vitamin E  and anti-aging properties, helping to lower cholesterol, decreases the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and packs a wallop of fiber and protein, all essential to keeping you fit and healthy for frequent lovemaking. 

Water to My Ocean 

a ocean creature figurine, a hourglass with beach sand, pretty colored beach towel, or a message in a bottle

Date Night Idea: Create a beach setting on your living room floor for a “sex on the beach” experience in the middle of winter in the comforts of your home. Pick up a sounds of the sea CD or purchase songs for your MP3 player and speakers. Crank up the heat in your home, and put on your swim suits. Pack picnic foods for two in a picnic basket. Pick up some beach decorations (i.e. beach glass, sand, a net) at the dollar or discount store and light some ocean-scented candles to set the atmosphere. Lay down plenty of beach towels and blankets and don’t forget the “sunscreen” (or body lotion). 

Glaze On My Donut

a package of her favorite doughnuts and  a package of her favorite coffee,  or a coupon good for a “early morning doughnut run”

Spring in My Step 

a professional photo of you (looking very happy of course), a fun colored slinky, or some other fun spring toy

Twinkle in My Eye 

glow in the dark stars for your wall or ceiling, some fun colored or designed twinkle lights, tickets to a planetarium, or  a coupon good for “stargazing”

Date Night Idea: Find a local spot in your area that is away from traffic and city lights so you get the optimal view of the sky. Pack a tarp to lay down on the ground to protect you from dampness, a blanket to lay down over the tarp, and a blanket for you to cuddle under. Bring a flashlight to see to and from the car. Bring a snack to share and/or pop a bottle of wine, bubbly, or sparkling cider (don’t forget glasses and napkins), or stop at a 24-hour or late night doughnut and coffee shop on the way home. If you have a telescope, all the more perks! Get into the full magic of the evening and gaze at the Milky Way together.  

Blue in My Sky

a framed painting or a photograph of the skies (during the day, of course), or if you’re really ambitious, hot air balloon ride or private airplane ride tickets

Cherry to My Sundae 

a bundle of her ice cream toppings from a jar of maraschino cherries to a package of Oreos to crumble to a bottle chocolate syrup, and don’t forget the fun colored sprinkles OR give her coupons to a local ice cream shop

Flip to My Flop 

a cute or pretty pair of flip flops

Milk to My Cookie

a package of her favorite cookies and/or a glass milk jar with real or artificial flowers (though she’ll probably appreciate real ones more)

Sweet in My Dreams

a pretty pillow case, a sexy outfit for her to wear to bed or a comfy pair of pajamas and slippers

Date Night Idea: Create a slumber party for two. Grab a blow-up mattress, order pizza, pop some popcorn, and rent a movie or two. Don’t forget plenty of grown-up beverages (wine or my husband’s and my favorite – rum and cherry coke). If you have a fireplace, build a fire for your loved one. Better yet, lay blankets out under the Christmas tree (once the kids have gone to bed, of course, if you have them). Turn out all the lights but the Christmas tree lights, cuddle under the blankets and hold hands. Talk until you fall asleep. Enjoy a night of fun… or maybe even one that gets a little frisky! ;o) 

Beat of My Heart

heart-shaped candies, a heart-shaped love letter, heart-shaped wreath or heart-shaped jewelry

Romantic Tip: I love to lean against my husband’s bare chest and listen to the sound of his heartbeat. It’s so relaxing. Spritz on some cologne and invite your lady to do the same. She’ll probably be thrilled. 

Cheese to My Macaroni 

a box of fun-shaped macaroni and cheese, of course!

Date Night Idea: Try a grown-up mac and cheese night. Don a nice tie and button down and dress pants (or maybe just the tie when you serve her). Here’s my favorite baked mac and cheese recipe. Dim the lights. Toss a nice salad and try some raspberry vinaigrette.  Pour a glass of wine for her when she comes to the table, and offer to work out some of those stress kinks in her neck and shoulders. For dessert, try chocolate covered strawberries.

Or for a flash-back to childhood, make the boxed kind, grill some hot dogs, serve a plate of finger veggies (baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery with a veggie dip), make a fun-flavored Jell-O (my favorites are strawberry or grape), and pick up or bake a chocolate cupcake for your sweetheart. Don’t forget plenty of soda pop in cans – try Hansen’s for a unique, healthy twist. End the night with playing a fun game of Twister or another childhood favorite game. 

Best to My Friend 

a friends forever keychain, best friend charm for a bracelet, or some trinket to remember your first date ever together

Love of My Life 

a photo album of your journey together as a couple, love poem, or a mix CD or playlist of love songs, complete with your “couple” song

Romance Tip: When Adam proposed to me, he “magically” played a song by my favorite band – Switchfoot’s version of Only Hope – and we slow-danced in the living room. It was so romantic! 

FOR THE LADIES: 

Here’s an idea for the wives who still haven’t gotten a gift for their man, or are unsure what to get him.

You can be the peanut butter to my jelly! 

a jar of his favorite jam or jelly (either homemade or store-bought) and a jar of peanut butter if you’d like to include it

Date Night Idea: Take your man on a winter hike and picnic and of course, pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or if you don’t want to do a full picnic try this Maple Peanut Butter Granola for a crunchy, protein-packed snack when you hit the trails. 

For a manly dinner dish, try this Peanut Butter Beer Chicken recipe and serve with homemade strawberry wine. Finish the night with yummy peanut butter and jelly bars or peanut butter and jelly cupcakes with peanut butter chocolate ganache

Don’t forget to give you man plenty of peanut-butter-jelly-time in the bedroom when you’re done! 

You can be the ketchup for my fries! 

a dinner with French fries and ketchup [Make your own. Click on the image above for the recipe], bottle of ketchup,  or fast food coupons to his favorite fast food fry joint [Surprisingly if you google French Fry pillows and ketchup pillows, there are quite a few].

Date Night Idea: Adam and I enjoy simple, easy, inexpensive date nights by heading to our local Wendy’s. You can get quite a bit off the $$ menu or Value Menu. Bring along a board game along. Don’t forget to get a frosty, two spoons. 

You are the bacon to my eggs! 

a gift certificate to his favorite breakfast place or breakfast at home with bacon and eggs, of course!

Morning Date Idea: Check out my breakfast in bed date idea! 

You are the ink to my pen. 

a nice pen or set of pens and a manly leather notebook

Romance Tip: Do you make your husband’s lunch? Tuck little love notes in his lunch bag or box daily. Adam definitely appreciates it when I do. 

As my wedding gift to my husband, I used a leather journal to write love notes, prayers, and my expectations, hopes, and dreams for marriage and gave it to him on our wedding night. This works great for an anniversary, birthday, or Christmas gift also. 

You’re the super in my hero! 

Superhero toys, movies, comic books, and trinkets

For my Superman Date Night idea, click here.

You’re the sun in my solar system. 

Telescope, glow in the dark stars for your wall or ceiling, pictures from the hubble telescope [gave that to Adam last year for Christmas], an outer space calendar, sun dial, rocket ship

Date Night Ideas: Visit a planetarium or a space and science center together. 

You’re the cheese to my pizza. 

Pizza assorted gifts: pizza-making kit, his favorite jar of pizza sauce, pizza stone [we absolutely love ours and got it at Ross for $10 – totally worth it and makes our pizza taste so much better], pizza cutter, hot pads

Italian Date Night: Dress up in red and white and green like the Italian flag colors. Put on some Italian music to get you in the mood. Set the scene with a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, candles, and Italian restaurant decor. Try wine coolers or pick up a bottle of Italian wine. Serve pizza (make your own from scratch or buy a box) breadsticks, and a tossed salad with Italian dressing. Here are a few of my favorite breadstick recipes: Quick Rise Cheesy Breadsticks and Easy Soft Parmesan Breadsticks.

These ideas are from Betty Crocker, but I absolutely love them. 

“Pick up some good fancy chocolate from a candy store or gourmet shop. Place a small doily on each dessert plate. Place a Tiramisu Bar or wedge of the Raspberry Mousse Brownies on the doily, along with a chocolate or two.

For an extra-indulgent dessert experience, serve cups of cappuccino or espresso, too. Sprinkle cappuccino with cocoa.” 

And perhaps things will get a little “saucy” after your date night! 

You’re the blood to my veins (or the beating of my heart). 

Put together a romantic TLC kit for your honey when he’s ill or injured complete with a favorite movie or book he’s been wanting, some throat drops, a pack of tissues, a box of his favorite candy, a can of his favorite soup, a package of crackers, a photo of you (in case you’re not home), comic books, a smiley face candy of some kind, hand sanitizer, a pair of slippers, a clean set of sheets and a pillow case, crossword puzzles and word searches, deck of playing cards, and a love letter.

Try out this nurse-patient roleplaying date night from Love Actually. 

 

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2 Comments

  1. This story has long been one of my favorites. Just for the reason you point out – the unselfish gifts that show such beautiful love. And I love your gift ideas! Thank you for this timely reminder about gift giving and remembering the love behind the gifts. (And for linking up with NOBH!) Smiles!

    • Gifts are so much more than physical, and I’m glad this story reminds us of that. Thanks for visiting the BHE community.

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