Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 12, 2008

One Less Gift

   I read an interesting article in the December 2008 issue of Condé Nast Traveler regarding how airlines have saved money by stripping coach-class amenities little by little over the years. As a frequent coach-class flyer who logs as many as 100,000 miles per year, I have noticed the difference. In 1987, American Airlines started eliminating one olive from each salad served and saved $40,000 annually. In 1999, Singapore Airlines stopped butter-flying shrimp and saved $750,000 annually. And, in 2005, Northwest Airlines stopped serving pretzels and saved $2,000,000 annually. Wow! Little changes can make a difference — in some cases a big difference.

   Imagine what could happen if each of us made small changes in our Christmas spending and then invested the savings in ways that honored God and advanced His purposes. We might be amazed at the big differences these little changes make in our own lives and in the lives of others. So, if the airlines can do it, so can we. Here are some practical suggestions.

Give one less Gift | We all have received and given gifts that were absolutely useless, goofy, given out of obligation, or given to impress. And, out of all of the toys we give to our kids, only a few hold their interest. Most end up under beds, under foot, and under used. So, consider giving everyone on your list one less gift and then give the money you save to someone in need or to a local assistance ministry.

Drink one less Cup | Get a pencil and calculate how much money you spend each day on coffee, bottled water, or sodas. Then calculate how much money you would save if you consumed one less drink every day. Consider giving the money you save to a homeless shelter or to the guy holding the cardboard sign on the street corner.

Eat one less Meal | Eating is a big part of Christmas in America — eating out, eating in, and eating more than we should. How much money would you save if you and your family ate one less meal? Consider skipping a meal and giving the money you save to a local food pantry to help those who will have very little to eat this Christmas.

Hang one less Ornament | I have friends and neighbors who have so many lights on their trees and houses that you can actually see them from outer space! Instead of buying more ornaments and lights, give that money to your church to purchase Bibles for those still living in darkness.

   You get the idea. Instead of celebrating Christmas as usual, let’s live the message of Christmas. Let’s give less to ourselves so that we can give more to the things that will advance God’s purposes. Jesus was willing to empty Himself (Phil. 2:7) for our sakes. Let’s do the same. Let’s do less for ourselves so that we can do more for others.

• • • • •

Note | Please take a moment to read Reconsider Christmas.


  1. Omar,

    I have readed your post ‘One Less Gift’

    Wonderful suggestions for the people. The people could save the money and use for more valuable, effective’s things. This is the one of the press to show the love into the world, and to the humanbeengs. I appreciate for your post. Might be many people will have a chance to change their attitude. And their will changed the world.

    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  2. Mortuza…

    Yes, God can use each of us to make a big difference if we will make small changes. Thank you for your comment.


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