As a pastor’s wife, I am invited to every birthday party, baby shower, and wedding shower. I LOVE to attend, but we can’t afford to buy presents for each one. I feel bad coming empty-handed. Do you have ideas for gift suggestions that are both meaningful and budget-friendly?
Broke but Eager to Give
It’s tough to have a slim budget when you love people and enjoy giving gifts!
When a gift is expected, try shopping at places where you can find tasteful and attractive gifts at low cost (such as TJ Maxx or Ross if you’re in the USA). Some pastoral families may choose to set aside a percentage of their offering as a gift-giving budget, since they consider it a part of their ministry.
If you are artistic (and have the time), you might give something handcrafted, such as a knitted scarf or a bookmark with a Bible verse in calligraphy. Or you could give the gift of your time by bringing food and helping to decorate.
Another option is to decide that your family policy is never to give gifts at all (except to family members or extremely close friends). Instead, your tradition could be to give a lovely card with a handwritten message of blessing and a special scripture verse at every occasion.
Whatever you choose, keep your policy consistent so people don’t get offended. Most will understand that the pastor can’t afford to give fancy presents at everyone’s party. What they want most is the support of your presence and acknowledgement.