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Giving to Your Adult Child’s Family

While we give gifts all year long, holidays bring gift-giving to the center of attention.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What are the best gift ideas for families on your list?

Gifting is experienced by the giver as well as the receiver. There is much to learn about myself and about God when giving a gift as well as when I’m on the receiving end.

Remember that a gift by its very nature is given without strings attached. We give with no expectations of the receiver.

One year, I gave a nice blanket to my adult kids. Later, I noticed the blanket was the chew toy for their dog. This was an opportunity for me to remember that the gift belonged to them to use as they chose without obligations or comments from me.

God is the first giver of gifts. Christ gave his life on the cross to provide grace, reconciliation, and forgiveness that leads to eternal relationship together. Salvation was his free gift. Even the word forgiveness is derived from the word gift.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

Further evidence of Christ’s Lordship is that his tomb is empty. He rose from the dead, proving his power over our enemy of death. The daily presence of his Holy Spirit is the gift of relationship today and every day.

For our adult children with children of their own, what are the best gift ideas for families we can give that encourage relationships, enrich their health, and nurture their faith. As you put your list together, here are ideas for gifts that go beyond the wrapping paper.

Encourage Togetherness

Gifts that facilitate interaction and relationship-building within the family include:

Games the family can play together. One family held Friday game nights throughout the year. To relatives and friends, they extended an open invitation. On any given Friday friends, laughter, and a bit of competition became foundational to growing community.

In addition to games, add a gift card for pizza.

Provide monthly grandparent time with the children so the parents can go out. Offer to housesit or pet-sit for the family when they go on vacation.

Rent a vacation home. The amount budgeted for holiday gifts may be equivalent to a week or weekend at a vacation rental. Choose the date and location most convenient for everyone to come for all or part of the week.

Library cards all around. Depending on your state and county, some libraries provide access to anyone who can sign their name for a card. Other areas require a fee for yearly use. Libraries are a vast resource of books, audiobooks, reference material, audiovisuals, manipulatives, and events for all ages. The library is a gift for all ages all year long.

Memberships to family-friendly activities in the community allow loved ones to explore a place and a topic. Check the community for places that offer family memberships such as Science Central, the zoo, the botanical conservatory, the philharmonic, and museums. Provide passes for activities to bowling, skating, or go-carting.

Give a gift card for a meal delivery service that can bring dinner to the door on days when the schedule has been busy, someone is not feeling well, or to enhance celebrations. Similarly, gift cards to favorite restaurants provide take-out. 

Gift Ideas for Families that Enrich Health and Wellness

In an age where young and old are frequently working and studying, family memberships to state and national parks provide hours of outdoor exploration. Additionally, parks host special events that may be of interest to your family from bonfires to guided hikes, from history talks to scavenger hunts.

Sports equipment encourages families to interact and move their bodies. For outdoors, volleyball and badminton, tennis, basketball, and baseball can be played by adults and children. Rules are easily adjusted to fit family abilities and personalities.

Similarly, membership to the local gym provides facilities for physical fitness no matter the weather. Gyms offer fitness coaching and classes.

A small indoor bouncer promises hours of fun for kids. Parents can jog and get in their steps without leaving home. A climbing rope can be connected outdoors or to a strong beam indoors. Floor mats provide a place to tumble. A ping pong table or the ping pong sets designed to attach to the dining room table spark fun and play.

There are bicycles for most ages and shapes including bikes for toddlers. Bike trailers and rear-mounted bike seats allow for the youngest family members to come along on outdoor excursions.

Coats, mittens, hats, and boots keep family members comfortably warm for outdoor playtime in the winter.

Nurture Faith Foundations

Give gifts that nurture the faith of those you love.

Fund participation in a church mission trip. Maybe go along.

The birth of Jesus is part of the greatest story ever told. Depicting the arrival of Emmanuel, nativity sets come in a variety of shapes and sizes to be the centerpiece for the holiday season. Similarly, an advent study accompanied by an advent wreath and battery-operated candles are ingredients to create a lasting holiday tradition. Interactive calendars allow children to add a character each day to a nativity scene through the month of December, ending with the arrival of baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning. Packed away each year, these gifts appear again as part of family tradition.

Gift an entertainment steaming service that carries faith-based programming such as the Adventures in Odyssey Club and That The World May Know.

Cover the incidentals for participation in Scripture memory clubs.

Give age-appropriate Bibles to each family member. Include a read-aloud Bible for family devotions.

Secure tickets for upcoming concerts featuring faith-based music or for faith-based films the family can enjoy together.

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will 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 9:10-11).

For additional best gift ideas for families, ask the parents and children what is on their list. Then ask the Lord to show you the best gift to give. Gift-giving and being generous reminds us to be thankful to God for his good and perfect gifts, given freely and lovingly.

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