Okay y’all. Lets talk about gift giving. Tis the season after all. But, honestly, gift giving is a topic that stays relevant throughout the year. Think birthdays, get well gifts, and moments a friend needs encouragement. Christmas isn’t the only time of year that thoughtful gift giving matters!
I’m going to spend a couple posts on this topic because I LOVE GIFT GIVING!
Also, over the years, a lot of people have commented to me that they wished it was easier for them to come up with good gifts. If that describes you, stay tuned. We’ll chat about how to keep track of birthdays and special events, how to brainstorm gift ideas, and how to stick to a budget when it comes to gifting.
But before we dive into the practical side of picking a good gift, let’s talk about why gift giving matters to begin with.
It’s common to hear people bemoaning the materialistic downfall of holidays. This complaint reaches it’s climax around Christmas time. And it’s not without validity. It’s sometimes easy to sacrifice worship on the altar of bustle. We can be lured into focusing on what we want to receive instead of enjoying the meaning of the season and the blessing of relationships that matter to us.
But gifts are about more than greed and materialism. It’s about more than what you can and can’t afford.
Let’s explore why gift giving matters.
Gift Giving is an Imitation of God
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)
Our lives, both physical and spiritual, are a gift from God. We can’t match His level of gift giving, but we can imitate Him by being generous givers and grateful receivers.
We are the children of a generous God. Yes, there are more important gifts than a gift card for a birthday or a toy to a child on Christmas, but I like to think that a nature of generosity includes the little things as well as the big.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Gift Giving Communicates Care
In my mind, the perfect gift has very little to do with how much money was spent. The perfect gift is one that communicates that you know the person you’re giving it to. The perfect gift says, “I see you. I’ve payed attention to you. You matter.”
This doesn’t always have to be carefully thought out or intimately personal. If trying to come up with a gift idea feels overwhelming to you, don’t overthink it! Big or small, personal or generic, all gifts require some level of investment of time and resources. That investment communicates that you care.
That said, if you are able to put some thought and effort into picking something personalized, I think that goes a long way in the world of gift giving. We’ll get into how to do that in a future post. 😉
Gift Giving Brings People Together
Many of our best memories are formed during birthday parties, holiday celebrations, bridal showers, and babies showers. These special moments bring people together, and we often incorporate gifts into celebratory moments of life.
Much like sharing a meal around a table, gifts cause people to pull a chair around a central location and give their focus to the same thing. The family comes together around the Christmas Tree on the morning of December 25th. Family members come bearing cupcakes and cheerfully wrapped presents to commemorate someone’s birthdate. The hum of laughter and conversation surrounds a glowing, excited bride at her bridal shower.
Think of the Wise Men, gathered around Jesus and focused on Him. He was both the recipient of their gifts and the greatest gift they would ever receive.
If gift giving is done with the wrong attitude, it can quickly become materialistic instead of beautiful. But perhaps we should examine our motives instead of the act of gift giving itself.
Let’s make time to gather around Jesus and contemplate Him, especially at Christmas time.
And let’s also make time to gather together and recognize that the people we give gifts to are treasures in our lives. Let’s make gift giving less about the objects and the money spent, and more about the time and effort put into the act of gift giving. Let’s make gift giving (and receiving) about reflecting God’s generosity, expressing love for each other, and building community.
What makes gift giving and receiving special to you? What is a gift you’ve received that was extra special to you? Why do you think gift giving is important?
Visit the Other Posts in This Series
- Why Gift Giving Matters (Hi! You’re already here.)
- How to Pick Great Gifts (publishing 12/01/20)
- How to Afford Gifts on a Tight Budget (publishing 12/03/20)
- How to Plan For and Keep Track of Birthdays and Special Events (publishing 12/05/20)
- My Favorite Gift Giving Resources and Ideas (publishing 12/07/20)