The countdown has begun. Apparently it’s only 14 more Friday’s until Christmas. Ugh.
I am not a stellar gift giver. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve delivered a gift that truly was ‘exactly what they wanted’ without the receiver having had previously communicated precisely what they wanted and where I could find it.
I think my failure as a gift-giver is partially because I’m not a random shopper. I like to get in and get out. I shop with a list, which rarely leads to inspiration and I don’t browse because browsing usually involves patiently waiting on and/or cheerfully interacting with other shoppers. And I don’t like to have to hunt for what I’m after. A 1/4 mile-long rack of shirts does not excited me as it does some people I know. I like my shirts grouped by size and color, just like I like my canned vegetables and my small hardware.
Also contributing to my poor gift-giving skills is my frugality. Thriftiness. Okay, I’m cheap! I live within the confines of a very narrow budget and this habit keeps me from splurging on the ‘perfect’ gift. But even without a budget I think I’m genetically hardwired to shop for the best value. Why spend $50.00 on a pair of jeans just because they wear a certain label and fit a certain way. I’m sure with a little research we can find an equally comfortable pair of equally good looking jeans for half the price. And then you can have two pair! If you have $50.00. And want to spend it on jeans.
But finally, I’m afraid my lack of gift-giving skills comes down to not truly knowing the needs and wants of my recipients. I was thrilled when I discovered amazon.com’s wish list feature. I built one for each family member and told them to get shopping! It didn’t work like I wanted it to. Jack put everything he EVER wanted on the list. Thomas and Emma couldn’t be bothered and Liz put lots on, but nothing exactly right. Evidentially, she just liked the idea of things, not the things themselves.
Isn’t it awesome that God –before the creation of the world- knew the perfect Gift for each one of us? That the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, our perfect Savior and the free Gift of God to sinful mankind? Definitely NOT a cheap gift!
This weekend – the first official weekend of fall- as you start to contemplate the upcoming holiday season, make it a point to dial your holiday focus in on the one true Gift. When your focus is placed on God, everything unimportant falls away and we can be led where our efforts are truly needed.
Ephesians 2: 10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”