Today I was in the Superstore, and ran into two teenage brothers that I know. They were looking for oven mitts for a Christmas present for their mom. But they had not found the perfect oven mitts, so they were empty-handed. “Too many plain oven mitts in this store,” they complained. “Our mom specifically asked for cute oven mitts.” I suggested that in addition to the cute oven mitts that they would hopefully find, they give a coupon book, “One argument-free day,” “One home-cooked dinner, including washing the dishes.” The teenage boy’s face lit up, “I bet she’d like a coupon that said, ‘One cleaned up bedroom.’!”
This week you may find yourself in a Big Box Store looking for the perfect gift. As you stand there, staring down the long aisle that stretches to infinity, ask yourself, “What am I doing here?” Hopefully the answer is, “I’m looking for a gift that will be useful for someone I love, or that will bring a smile to their face, as a token of my love for them.” Hopefully it’s not, “I’ve got to spent X amount of dollars or people will think I’m cheap,” or “They don’t need a thing, but I have to get them this useless present anyway.” Maybe it’s time to think outside the Box, and get them a different sort of gift. There’s still time to purchase a loving gift, a donation to MCC , donate.mcc.org/christmas-giving, or think of your own coupon book.
With all this gift giving going on, I was wondering today about whether I am going to give God a Christmas present. I never really had God on my list before. That’s all I need, more stress…talk about trying to find a gift for Someone who has everything!
But maybe a coupon book. Hmmm…what would God want? “One day where I think only of others.” Wait, maybe that’s not realistic. “One hour where I think only of others.” Or I wonder if I could follow through on, “One day where I say thank you for everything you give me.” How about , “One Christmas season where I say only positive things about others.” “An extra gift to Community Care to help people who can’t pay their electricity bills.” The more I think about it, the more I realize God doesn’t have everything God wants after all. There’s a long wish list there!
Why not put God on your Christmas list this year? After all, I think God will be giving you a gift on Christmas.
Forgive me God for the times where I lose sight of what gift-giving is about. I want to give good gifts. Let this Christmas be one where I give myself generously, freely, lovingly.