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12 Days of Christmas Giveaways (2017) – Day 5


10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.


One of you WHO COMMENTS ON ALL TWELVE POSTS AND ALSO SHARES ABOUT THE SERIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA will win a grand prize from me, pictured here.

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

REMEMBER…in order to win the grand prize, you must leave a comment on all 12 posts. You can start with Day One HERE.

OK, let’s get started with our fifth day’s guest, Alex Kuykendall!


Giving the Gift of Time

It was the end of the Christmas Tea. A room filled with beautiful women in fancy clothes sitting in front of china place settings on their decorated tables. I’d just talked to the group about unmet expectations and grief during the holidays when one of them approached me and said, “I’m changing my Christmas wish list. This year all I want is for each of my boys to take me out to lunch in January. Alone.” I could tell she was holding back the tears. “I miss my boys.” I could feel my tears of empathy well because I know what it is to want someone’s attention.

In a world where we are increasingly isolated and ever busy we can forget to slow down enough to notice the ones closest to us. A great way to ensure some time together after the hustle, bustle of the Christmas season is to give a set aside activity as a gift. This tells the recipient time with them matters. It can be a great budget friendly gift too because though time is costly, we do not have to spend money to offer it.

Whether the people on our list are our preschool aged children, our parents, neighbors, or friends, we can offer them intentional, quality time as our Christmas offering. Giving time as a gift, minimizes stuff accumulation, and increases memories. Gift ideas include:

  • Tickets to a sporting or cultural event
  • A restaurant gift certificate to be used together
  • A vacation sometime in 2018
  • A coupon for a back rub on demand
  • A class to take together
  • A standing weekly date to walk through the neighborhood
  • A membership to a local museum or zoo
  • Movie tickets or Netflix membership for the homebound recipient with the promise of Friday night movie nights

No matter your budget, or the person on your Christmas list, you can choose just the right gift of time to give. As Karen says in her book, Listen, Love, Repeat, “Most anything we want to find is easily available with the click of a mouse or a touch of the screen. But I have noticed through the years that of all the presents my kids might receive, the ones that matter the most are those that cost time.” (Pg. 64) When we give the gift of time we are telling the recipient they are worth this prized resource. Our presence is priceless and they are worth that price.

Day Five Giveaway

For the 12 Days of Christmas series, I am giving away A copy of my book, Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing The Season and a Loving My Actual Life racer tank (size XS).

10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.10th Annual #12DaysofChristmas Giveaways (2017) at karenehman.com.

You can read more about Alexandra Kuykendall’s experiment to put an end to the holiday madness in her new book Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season. A trusted voice in mothering circles, Alex speaks to women around the world about issues of parenting, faith and identity. She is the Cohost of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast and has also authored Loving My Actual Life and The Artist’s Daughter. Alex lives in the shadows of downtown Denver with her husband Derek and their 4 daughters who range in age from 15 to 6. You can connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com.



12 Days of Christmas Giveaways Rules

  1. You can comment on all 12 days (once per person) up until midnight Pacific time, Sunday, December 17. All posts are linked on Day One here.
  2. U.S. Addresses only please.
  3. One daily winner will be chosen from each day’s comments and all winners (including Grand Prize) will be announced on Wednesday, December 20.
  4. Share the giveaway with your friends and followers using the share buttons below.
  5. If you’re not already subscribed, click here and receive an email notification each day of our series.


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  1. Giving time is the best. I have enjoyed taking vacations with my sister and her family as well as my friends. It’s the best gift for all of us.

  2. We’ve been doing this the past three years and I have to say it is the best gifts of all! Such wonderful memories have been made.

  3. It’s good to remember that the time spent with my family is more important than the gifts. I need to be conscious of my attitude when I’m with my family this Christmas and practice love and tolerance.

  4. I enjoy Christmas eve tradition with my family… new PJ’s (because who doesn’t love fleece) and hot cocoa, popcorn tin in the middle of us all and watching a Christmas movie, this year, I want it to be special for us all. Time. You can’t make that up.

  5. This was encouraging I can give more gifts now with a promise to spend time. I like that alot.
    It will force quality time in my life. Thank you for your honest encouragement.

  6. I need reminded often that the people closest to me need my time to be with them. It seems like I do so much and am often doing so much for others that I neglect my own family. Also, loving my Christmas as it is in real life, not the one that is showing everything so perfect.

  7. The gift of time is my favorite gift to give AND receive. It is always so easy to know exactly what the recipient would love!

  8. Time is how I feel loved. Love to read your book. Today we live in a busy world where it’s hard to find someone who wants to slow their pace and just be. I want my daughters to give me something that does not cost a cent this Christmas, their time.

  9. Oh I could just about cry- this is so simple yet so lovely – what better gift than love- giving of oneself to another. I know my mother would greatly appreciate such a gift as my time.

  10. Loved the book, Loving My Actual Life! Such great reminders to slow down and appreciate all of our dily gifts from God, big and small.

  11. Time is definitely something we take for granted. After losing my Mom this year I’ve really began to realize the importance of relationship.

  12. Gifts that cost time. What a beautiful reminder of the opportunity we have to give a gift that is priceless! If you think about it, that’s what God gave to us when He sent his son to be with us. He was with us only for a time … but what a time! Jesus stepped into time to share himself with us, and to then give us a gift that is eternal. Beautiful!

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