Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Actually, it IS all about the presents.

I've been doing a little rushing around the last two weeks, buying gifts for the kids and other family members. Not too much, though, I've been doing pretty well this year about pacing myself and planning ahead and all that.

As I was rushing and enjoying thinking about each person and trying out different ideas in my head and thinking about what they like, etc, I had this guilty feeling hovering around my heart. We hear so much every year about how Christmas is not about the presents-- don't focus on the commercialism, your kids don't really need all that crap anyway. You know, right? And I began to suspect that we may have gone a bit overboard. :guilty face: We usually buy each kid one major gift and a couple of little things that are more on the "need" than "want" side of things. But this year, after we'd already bought Judah a train set, we came across a castle/knights/horses/medieval weapons set that was IRRESISTIBLE. He's obssesed with knights and castles this year and any time you ask him what he wants for Christmas, he (without fail) says "A recipe to make a castle!"

Anyway. There I was again last night, shopping and feeling slightly guilty and commercial, but still somehow enjoying it all! Bad, bad! But then, this morning in the shower (because i do a lot of my daily deep-thinking in the shower because it's the only place i can have five consecutive minutes of privacy. sometimes. on a good day) I realized, hey wait a minute. Christmas IS about the gifts! What was I thinking? The whole holiday is celebrating the most precious gift ever given-- the Son of God made Flesh! Why shouldn't we go overboard? Why shouldn't we give extravagantly, sacrificing of our resources to give joy to our family and friends? Isn't that what God did in the gift of Christ? He came that we might have Joy-- ABUNDANT joy! The kind of joy I'm anticipating from Judah when he sees this castle! Absolute mind-blowing excitement and thrill.

Granted, the joy of Christ is in a whole different league from Judah's excitement over a train set, but there's a parallel, I think. Especially for children, who haven't yet learned about the Deeper Joys. They start with gifts given out of love and for the simple purpose of their unbridled enjoyment and the grow up into the Gift of Christ. They learn about the love through God from the love of the parents. And Gift Giving is one of the five Love Languages, remember?

So I've tossed out my guilt over commercialism and decided to claim for myself the joy of extravagant gift-giving! Don't you wish I picked YOU in the Round Robin this year??? ;)

Within reason. I mean, I'm not selling the car to make money for gifts, or anything. And I'm still only buying stocking stuffers for you guys, so don't get TOO excited... you know who you are ;)


septembermom said...

That's the way to see the gift giving of the season. I'm going to share your perspective as I shop for my bunch too. It is a beautiful season in many ways. Hope you're feeling well and getting some rest these days :)

Polly said...

AMEN!! Wonderful! I personally know how to go about long-faced thinking, why do I have to give gifts, I love them anyway, I can just send the money overseas, etc. etc.--and then to receive one long-planned and extravagant and be blown away by the expensive love of Abba mirrored in His children. It DOES mean a lot.
I thank Mrs. Cook for enlightening me to Celebration as a spiritual discipline actually! :)
Can't wait to see you!

Gramoni said...

Oh, yes,I do love giving costly presents that are just right. Not having much to spend ought not to lead us to give cheap gifts just to get "something". The gifts need to be expensive because love is expensive, if no money, then time spent making something wonderful, or writing a poem or song, or a little book for a child. Or plans for a very significant experience. Let's be lavish in living and not pinchy when it comes to gifts. This from a mom who has always been economical in homemaking. Frugality on the one hand, abundant giving on the other. The former provides for the latter, if all goes well. If not, there is still time, work, and thoughtful planning to "spend."

Herb of Grace said...

RIght, Mom, the lavishness and extravagance isnt' necessarily just MONEY. Could be time or other resources just as well. The point is, it OUGHT to COST something. It should require some kind of sacrifice.

Denise said...

Love this thought, perspective, and especially reading everyone's comments above. Lavish because Christ's love was lavish, and not because it costs a lot, but because it is with much delight and love for the gift-receiver.

Rebecca Walsh said...

Great post! And comments too. Now I wish I could get my brother to read it all, to give him another perspective on the so-called materialism he is too good for. It's convicting to think how giving should cost us, since the ultimate Gift was such a sacrifice.

Jenny said...

oh oh oh!!! I got Judah the COOLEST thing...but I don't know if I'm going to get it to send it to you in time for Christmas. Might end up being a birthday present:( I'm very excited -- really wish I could be there to see his face;)

Buckeroomama said...

I love what your mom said. She sounds just like my dad. He's always been frugal, but does know when to be extravagant when the situation calls for it. :)