Monday, December 20, 2010

The Season of Gifting?

Prov.15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
I remember so many times as a child getting through the crowds at Christmas time, trying to hail a cab with my mother because we had so many bags and boxes we just couldn’t fit onto the overstuffed bus!  Pushing through the throng of shoppers, waiting in long lines, pressing through to get that one special gift!

My mother would take herself broke to give to others. Always on Christmas eve, running at the last minute to get just one more ‘special’ gift. She’d pay dearly all year long for having a giving heart. Did it cloud my view of what Christmas was all about? No, it opened my eyes to the unnecessary attachments we hold to the gift giving season.

Have we as a society gotten away from the real reason we even have a Christmas or has the world colored our vision so much so that we feel the need to give give give? I remember AFTER Thanksgiving, the stores would decorate, the streets would become a bastion of light shows, the trees, the street signs would all welcome this gift giving season with open arms.

Now the Christmas holiday is ushered in right after Halloween, forcing us to think that if we don’t get an early start, we won’t ever be able to get that perfect gift for the ones we love. The season is shaded by giving gifts, even if that means taking yourself broke. Buying and spending, all in the name of love? So are you telling me, love has a price tag on its head and if I don’t give you a gift, I don’t love you?

How clouded is that theory? Commercialism will not suck me dry. It will own no part of my soul. When I give, I give year-round, I give of myself, my time, something treasured from my heart that I know will impact a person for years (seconds, minutes, days?) to come. I don’t spend money at Christmas! I buy my son a gift, beau a gift, and everyone else receives my presence.

The only reason I celebrate Christmas, the pagan holiday, is because tradition almost demands it of me. While others are out buying, shopping, feeling good about themselves, sometimes they overlook the reason they are giving in the first place.

Are they doing it to make themselves look good? Others feel good? That is all well and good, but wouldn't a batch of homemade cookies, or hand-knitted scarf, or a simple poem, picture or other treasure from the heart mean more than a gift certificate from Macy's? Top-notch perfume? The 'perfect' purchased gift? Think about the answer you just thought!

Think about it a minute. If everyone truly gave from their heart and soul, (meaning, not spending a dime on the 'show') the stress of the season would be relinquished! Money could be given to HELP people, and EVERYONE would have a warm feeling during this day of celebrating Christ’s birth, and all that His presence meant to the world.

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