Reflections on Gift Giving
Gift giving is something we do throughout the year. However, it is full throttle season in December. Christmas, New Year, Hannukah, Kwanza, and probably someone’s birthday.
You remembered their December birthday, right?
I enjoy gift giving. It’s a fascinating quest to find something the recipient will enjoy. It’s challenging to think of a gift that will reflect the person’s unique interests. And it is satisfying to make another person feel special and remembered.
The older I get, the more difficult it is to give gifts to people you don’t really know. You want the gift to reflect some level of relationship with the person. The gifts that bring the greatest satisfaction to give are the ones to whom we feel the closest and love the most.
This Christmas, my children are excited to buy gifts with their own money they earned at work. They have jobs and they work hard. They saved their money to buy gifts for each other and their parents.
It feels a little weird to have them buy us gifts. I want them to save and spend it on things they need or want for themselves. And then, at the same time, I am grateful. I am grateful they have grown into generous, compassionate young adults. Their desire to give to us is a reminder that we succeeded in parenting.
It makes me stop and wonder if God feels the same way about us. When we give to God, does He feel the same gratitude? Does He recognize how Jesus changed our hearts to make us generous, compassionate children of God?
When my children were younger, I wanted to keep the gifts on Christmas to a minimum. I was often afraid that too many gifts would make them greedy and materialistic. My husband wanted to lavish them until it was overflowing. We managed to find a middle ground somewhere along the way.
But now, now that they are (almost) grown…I want to lavish them with abundance. I see their hearts and cannot help to want to give until it is running over.
Perhaps God feels the same too. Perhaps when God sees our generous spirits, He desires to give until it is running over. Jesus said, “give and it shall be given unto you. pressed down, shaken together, and running over”.
I hope this holiday season that you find yourself wanting to give generously. May your heart overflow with the love of God so that your generosity will also overflow. May you awake from your slumber and find compassion for those in your life. And may you find a way to express love to those closest to your heart.