This year consider giving a Christmas gift that goes beyond that boring pair of default slippers, and rather opt for an original and thoughtful gift. Here are 5 great gift ideas suited to various budgets that any Christian would appreciate:

1. The gift of charity – a cornerstone of the Christian faith:

This season, think outside the box (literally) by bestowing a charitable gift to someone in need that is gifted on behalf of your loved one. Instead of presenting them with a physical gift this year, a gift which helps alleviate poverty, hunger or injustice can be given in their honor. Oxfam has a program that allows you to symbolically gift items such as livestock, building tools, medical kits, seeds, water pumps, literacy programs and human rights training around the world.

The gift registry includes: $18 for a pair of chickens for eggs and baby chicks, $20 buys mosquito nets that protect families against malaria and other deadly insect related diseases, $35 is sufficient for one child’s school meal program, $50 gets someone a goat which provides fertilizer and food, $100 can support a woman entrepreneur, $150 trains a midwife who will offer prenatal care and birthing support to pregnant women in rural communities. And, your donation will also be rewarded with a tax-deductible donation receipt! For gifts that keep on giving, visit:

2. A Christian retreat getaway:

If you’re willing to spend a little more time and money, arranging for a special Christian retreat is a wonderful gift option that can leave you with fond memories for years to come. Whether you’re planning a couples getaway or for the entire family, many retreat facilities offer an array of options from self catering to all inclusive. If you’re looking to treat yourself to some relaxing and reflective time with yourself and God, then a restorative getaway may be exactly what you need to charge your physical and spiritual batteries for the new year.

Ideally, look for places that offer an array of retreat options and that have received positive online reviews. Places like Sandy Cove Ministries – which was awarded a 2013 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor, offer different packages and programs including couple’s getaways, women’s events, men’s weekend retreats and seniors programs.

3. A biography that reads like a Hollywood hit with a Christian angle:

From the New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas comes this inspirational biography based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer – the man known for standing up to Hitler. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy chronicles the life of a double agent involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler. The true life story is based on one of history’s darkest and complex Christian Retreat Massachusetts periods, yet offers up great moments of inspiration and awe. This book will no doubt keep its reader engrossed in a page turning holiday read. Pairs well with that special man in your life.

4. For that special single who would make somebody a great partner:

Oddly enough we sometimes hesitate to spend a little money on less expensive items that can greatly improve the quality of our lives such as toothbrushes, newer running shoes, meaningful memberships, etc. Yet we may not think twice about dropping $100 on dinner or another pair of jeans we don’t need. This Christmas, you could be the catalyst for changing someone’s life by providing them with the opportunity to meet a life partner.

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