From my experience I can tell you that while I enjoyed receiving baked goods and candies from people in my church (quite obvious from the fact that I couldn’t stop snacking on them) I really, really, really liked it when people gave me gift cards. Gift cards are always the right size and color! I used them to buy last minute gifts for my children or I saved them to pick up needed items at after Christmas sales. If we received restaurant gift cards we loved to take another couple out on a date with us in order to get to know them better and to bless them. I tend to give gift cards as gifts nowadays because (1) they are easy and (2) I don’t have to worry if someone will like what I picked out. I can leave all of the picking and choosing to the gift card recipient. Win-win!
So here ya go – number 4 of 52 ways to care for you pastor:
Give the pastor’s wife a gift card to a local grocery store or department store. This is especially welcome during the holidays.
This week we continue on with the Christmas theme. There are always unexpected (as well as expected) expenses during the holiday season. The pastor’s wife is quite familiar with this phenomenon. She is often expected to host a Christmas party for the church staff in her home. She is usually invited to various teas (many with $10 gift exchanges) and cookie exchanges. And, she may have invited lonely church members into her home for Christmas dinner (or she may be surprised when guests show up at the door that her husband invited but failed to mention – not that I have any personal experience with that!) Grocery store gift cards are a double blessing during the holidays.
One year, when times were very lean, I was sad because our children would have very few gifts under the tree. My husband and I were never extravagant, but just opening the requisite new Christmas PJ’s and a pack of socks and underwear that the kids desperately needed would make for a bleak Christmas morning in our household. Lo and behold a wonderful couple in our church pressed an envelope into my hands one Sunday morning about a week before Christmas. They decided to forego buying gifts for one another and instead give the money to us so we could use it toward our own Christmas purchases. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the gift. God saw our need (yes I know that our children were incredibly blessed already compared to 90% of the world’s children, but come on – they’re kids with childish reasoning, not mini adults!) and used this amazing couple (who are still very much a part of our lives 20 years after the fact) to meet that need. I will never forget how grateful I felt to them and to our Heavenly Father.
So, yeah, grocery store, department store, Target, Walmart, and other store gift cards are a HUGE BLESSING to the pastor and his family during the holidays or anytime of the year.