Relief for Gift-Giving Anxiety

Date: December 22, 2022

Release: December 22, 2022

Topic: Christmas, giving


Relief for Gift-Giving Anxiety



Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.  2 Corinthians 8:12


It’s gift giving season.  Does that give you anxiety just thinking about it?  If so, you’re not alone.

Although it’s been a custom of ancient cultures, gift-giving among Christians may have started up about 300 years after Jesus’s death. To celebrate His birth, Christians began to give one another gifts, as the Magi did in worship of the Christ. But today, buoyed by capitalism gone wild, gift giving regularly puts people in credit card debt well into the new year. We also put ourselves in emotional debt through pressured gift-giving. Karissa Tucker, age 31, says, “I do feel that amount of effort I put out correlates to a measure of closeness with someone, and… if I don’t keep up my gift list every year, people will feel the absence.”[1]

Taking the time to search Scripture and our own hearts this Christmas can bring some relief. Scripture says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) and “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And, “Give according to what you have, not what you don’t have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). God loves when we give cheerfully and freely–we’ll find peace this Christmas if we give only as we’re able to do easily and joyfully.

After evaluating her gift-giving compulsions, Karissa realized: “I can be kind and warm and hospitable without giving a material gift. Or I can use the alternative of a “just because” gift or card at some other time in the year. Who wouldn’t treasure a surprise like that in March, for example?!”[2]

[1] Tucker, Karissa. “Weird Eyes.” Weird Eyes, 30 Nov. 2022,

[2] Ibid.