If you came to my house, you’d soon find you could read your way through it: the rooms turn like pages in a book.

I didn’t mean to do this when I started out 10 years ago, it has just happened over time. If you know me now, you know I have a word-dense personality. (Like how I put that? You can use it if it works for you too!) Even though I absolutely love NOT talking with people, I have words streaming constantly in my mind on all kinds of subjects. Many times this has worked against me, pulling me into negative spirals of over-thinking (fretting, nail-biting, over-eating, you get the idea), and it can lead to the blues. So over the years I have learned that posting verses, quotes, notes, words, and messages that remind me of God’s goodness in any way, serve as anchors to hold me steady when overwhelm strikes! (If a scene from the movie, A Beautiful Mind, has now come into your mind, trust me…I’ve had my concerns at times too. I’m just way less smart and so far, not schizophrenic. So far.)

Being a word-lover, it just makes sense then that some of my most meaningful gifts I’ve received (and given) have been of the word variety! Whether it was the one word that got my romance started with Grizz (“nudge”), a portion of my mission statement, or a passage from a favorite author…I love it when my house reminds me of who we are and where we are going. But I won’t share only those kinds of meaningful gifts. These are just a few ideas I’ve used in the past, or have received, that have had a little more meaning than usual. This post will be heavy on the pictures and light on the words — which for me is a stretch! So, you’re welcome, and Merry Christmas!

 

  1. Handmade word art

I’m tickled to share this sweet reminder with some friends that I see their influence changing our world! Hand-stitched by my talented friend Kate on Instagram @pretty.littles.shop or visit her on Etsy!

 

A dear friend painted this on a piece of wood she cut from a tree in her yard. The cost was small to her, but the value has been SO HIGH to me! Photo credit: @kadeesapproach on Instagram.

 

My friends at Amelia’s Woodshed were happy to make this for our anniversary last year, capturing a word that was instrumental in Grizz and I meeting! “Nudge” 🙂

 

I love the writings of Brother Lawrence, and love the ladies in my book club who spend most of their time washing dishes, wondering if what they do every day matters. So I commissioned this writing on 5×7 cards for them to keep in their kitchens as a reminder that ALL they do is holy when it is done unto the Lord! Thank you to Carlie at The Brumby Nest~ (It’s easier to read in person!)

 

2. Self-made art (that’s right ya’ll! DIY!)

(1) I stitched this family image of us a couple Christmases ago (when I was literally down with my back!) I purchased the pattern from Stitch Folks before it became crazy popular – and was able to follow the easy instructions and capture our essence in yarn! These days you can get patterns from folks all over Etsy, but for inspiration, check out @stitchfolks on Instagram (so stinking cute!) (2) And if you can do hand-lettering, you can script over a map or meaningful page, like a menu where you first met your sweetheart! (For us, it was the Apple Barn in Nashville) Or, you can commission it with brilliant folks like @trulyyoursdesignco on Instagram!

 

This is WORD ART you can WEAR! Which for me, is the best on all accounts. This very soft shirt brings a very life-giving message: YOUR STORY! The word prompts help you remember the plot points of your redemptive story so you are always ready to share your hope. The card that comes with it gives you Bible references too! Get them in just about any size here. And thank you!

 

3. Handmade accessories that DO good!

Spend any time with this girl and you know, I NOONDAY! What is there not to love, really? When you shop Noonday Collection, you join others in creating meaningful opportunity for people around the world – building a flourishing world where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs and we are connected. (These earrings are not available right now – you have to shop quick! But the Calypso Earrings are SO similar! Very snowflake-like in winter-white.)

 

4. Personalized home decor

I know. This welcome mat is NOT personalized. It’s because it is mine (gift hint!) BUT, I have personalized them for others before with a family name or favorite welcome phrase. It also makes a great housewarming gift. And if it’s for a #girlboss with an office, her logo would be so cute on one! You can find lots of folks making these today, start here!

 

You can have pictures of loved ones put into magnets for your kitchen or ornaments for your tree, but it’s a lovely way to see your people grow and change through the years! I like to do fridge magnets easy peasy through Walgreens (they have industrial suction!), and I love these ornaments I made through MPIX.

 

5. COFFEE.

Coffee. Coffee gift cards. Coffee appliances. Coffee pods. Chocolate covered over the coffee beans, just caffeinate yo’ people ya’ll. Knock it out of the park and keep it local where the brews give back to your community! Coffee is meaningful. Amen.

 

 

6. The BEST MUG EVER. (It’s what I think, but what I hear too!)

A Mother of Thousands Mug Image

She’s lovely and yet, just a little rough around the edges. She keeps it simple, her world is black and white, but she brings a rich message of hope for those who feel like they have nothing to offer. YOU can be an influencer, even a mother of thousands.

 

How do we live a meaningful life? A life full of fruit? Let this sweet mug remind you every time you fill up your cup that it is not through grand gestures, but simple faith as you PLANT SMALL. and ROOT DEEP. God promises you will BEAR LIFE! John 15:8-11. Also, as proud supporters of IJM and Rise Up For Kids, (both working to redeem the stories of the next generations) your purchase power is stretched to do even more good! Get this mug here and thank you!!!

 

7. Journals (with or without writing prompts)

Ya’ll. If I could make money journaling. Chi-ching!!!!! I journal like it’s my job. Wait, I’m a writer. It IS my job. But even if it’s not your job, a lovely journal that looks and reads like someone you care about, can be a great gift! Two things that could make it stand out: (1) Writing prompts. If someone you know has a hard time writing, having cues can be helpful. These are great ones, but so are these! I could buy them all, really. (More gift hints!) AND, (2) Write a short note in the front with a prayer or verse that blesses her! I keep cards from women who speak life to me, and read them over when I forget truth. Be that voice for someone!

 

 

8. Soaps that give a {deep meaningful} clean!

I am enjoying some holiday scents in these adorable soaps this season, made by my very dear friend Sarah with True Vine Soap Company. I cannot recommend her or her soaps enough! You can see her selection on Facebook at @TrueVineSoapCompany

 

9. Gift certificates for couples to have a meaningful getaway!

So you may not be able to afford to give a couple a full weekend to grow together, but at the very least you can offer childcare and movie tickets (or a restaurant gift card, or even that coffee shop gift card!) for some time to connect. This can mean so much to families just trying to make it through the week! If you CAN afford more, consider getting a Gift Card to a Family Life Weekend To Remember! All they have to do is get a hotel (which can be done on the cheap), but you give them all the incentive to make it happen! (Grizz and I have done 2 of them now, and they are worth every cent!) **If you have newly-married kids, this is a great first Christmas gift! Or if you want to sweep your loved one off their feet, give them this with a love note, “…adventure awaits!”

 

10. Books that inspire and uplift with God’s Truth!

Yep. This is called a shameless plug. Some call it self-promotion too, and I get it. It feels icky, but only for a minute because then I remember what it says inside (!!!) and I throw off the shame because of the BIG FAT GRACE shared in these pages! There are MANY books really that share such beautiful messages based on God’s Word, so you really can go all out with book buying and giving…but if I had to pick just one 😉 **And if you have read it and write a positive review on Amazon (if you don’t have a positive review, I’m sorry you feel this way!) I’m going to randomly select a special reviewer to send a special thank you gift before Christmas! Who knows what it will be, as you see I like to think creatively when it comes to gifts!!

 

I could keep going, I love coming up with gifts that mean a little something more than the box store gift cards – though I’ll take those too!

We give people a meaningful gift when we help them remember who they are and where they are going, or capture a meaningful moment for them. Our friends, like Tara (@sweetsnapsphotog on Instagram) have done this for us over the years, like the moment below. Oooooh, that’s another gift idea: a mini photo session for a family! Growing up there was no way we ever could have afforded pictures, so what a blessing for a family to have beautiful pictures of their people they can enjoy all year long!

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

 

 

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