Only 55 Days Until Christmas: Simple Gift Suggestions for Friends Who are Not LDS
I know it’s only the day after Halloween, but I’m already thinking about Christmas. Christmastime is especially hectic at our house. In addition to two different employer’s holiday parties, the ward Christmas party, Christmas cards, gift shopping for family and close friends, 100+ tithing settlement appointments, and traveling across the country to see our families in Utah, every year we have a list of probably 10 to 20 casual friends whom we’d like to give gifts to. These are the nice people at work, school, or in the neighborhood who have either given us a gift (necessitating reciprocity) or who deserve something more special than a card. A few years ago, we discovered a wonderful gift idea for these friends—something that is simple, meaningful, and inexpensive—Christmas-themed DVDs ordered from the LDS Catalog online. The only catch is that in order for the DVDs to arrive before Christmas, you have to place your order as early as possible (read: now). Many of the titles available would be especially appropriate for friends who are not LDS (people who you don’t want to scare off with anything too “Mormony”), such as:
Mr. Krueger’s Christmas: 25th Anniversary Edition, $4.50 each, or $50.00 per case of 50 ($1 each!). Mr. Krueger’s would be my first choice, given the cost, classier DVD cover, and, of course, Jimmy Stewart.
Joy to the World, $6.20 each, or $145.00 per case of 50.
Stories of Christmas, $5.00 each, or $125.00 per case of 50.
As soon as the DVDs arrive, I would recommend preparing them for distribution in one sitting. For extra Christmas-y effect, you can slap a bow on top of each DVD or wrap them in holiday paper. Or, if you’re really feeling ambitious, the DVD could be wrapped up with a treat (store bought or homemade depending on your time constraints).
In addition to the simplicity and inexpensiveness of these DVDs, I have found that the DVDs provide a non-threatening way to introduce my friends and acquaintances to the church. Each DVD contains not only the listed title, but also several other menu selections such as Finding Faith in Christ, The Restoration, etc. I figure if my friend watches the more generic Christmas title, if they’re interested at all in the church they’ll make another menu selection afterwards. If they’re not interested, then they won’t. Regardless, they’re receiving a thoughtful gift about something that is important to me. I can’t imagine receiving a similar gift from someone and not being touched by the gesture.
A word to the wise: I would recommend making a list of the people you plan to give the DVDs to and then adding 5 extra DVDs to that list. These extra DVDs have proved invaluable over the years as last minute gifts (especially as reciprocity gifts for people we didn’t expect would give us anything).
P.S. Struggling over what to give your bishop and his wife for Christmas? Please, please, please just sign up (and show up) early for your tithing settlement appointment. Fitting in hundreds of extra appointments during the month of December is NO fun for the bishop or his family. I seriously almost pulled out the veto card on J’s calling after last year’s tithing settlement rounds. If anyone at the Church Office Building is reading this, can we please just postpone the appointments until January? I’m sure everyone would still have plenty of time to itemize their deductions before April 15. 🙂