Brent and I decided we would set a very small budget to buy one gift for each other. Brent headed straight for the mall and I headed straight for the Dollar Store! I was practical, bought him things he liked. Gum, armor-all, a wrench, a 10 pack of no. 2 pencils with the name Brett etched in gold on them (Brent is a hard name to find). I paid the damage, went home, wrapped it all up in one box, put a $5.00 bow on top (it’s all about the delivery) and I called it a good venture!
As I placed this remarkable gift under our Charlie Brown tree my eyes immediately bolted to this hideous object lying helplessly alone. My heart went out to it for it had clearly been attacked by a large dose of testosterone. Men do not contain the “wrapping” gene. It didn’t take long to figure out from the outside exactly what it was. It was a Remington Wet/Dry Razor. I’d wanted one forever – but it was way too expensive! And there I sat in a glorious knick-free shaving dreamland until I was interrupted by reality, “I must return this gift!” So I hopped in my car, unwrapped the gift while I drove to…let me see…Yes, the price tag is still on it…Sears. I returned the wet/dry razor, with much remorse, and headed right to our bank to deposit the money back into our account.
Just hours later my husband discovered what I had done. And, it broke his heart. That was his gift to me and I rejected it. Our very first Christmas, first chance to wow each other, and I crushed his hopes and excitement.
As i grew in faith and learned more about God, the ultimate gift-giver, I realized that giving is a part of who we are. I am here, the person I am today, because God gave so much for me. Because Jesus gave so much for me. Christ gave His life as a gift to give me life. God started the gift-giving trend.
Now, a Remington razor can not compare to a death on the cross. But the heart of the giver is the beauty of the gift. it really doesn’t even matter what the gift is. Imagine the indescribable look on Gods face each time one of His children receives His gift of life and eternity with Him. Now, imagine the heart-break He must experience each time one of His children rejects that gift.
So now, for me, keeping the spirit of Christmas alive is to give gifts. It reminds me of the gift Christ gave us. It is emulating His example.
Big gift, small gift, homemade, time, a poem, volunteering…anything that sets your heart on others…that’s the beauty of it. Even deciding not to exchange gifts as a family and, instead, put that money toward something else. Just let your heart genuinely, and joyfully, give.
I used to be “anti-gift” – until I realized what my life would look like if Jesus had been an anti-gifter. So, I give what I can. It’s not about the money, it’s about the heart and intent. When we give, without expectation, to others – we are being most like Christ.
What does “The True Spirit Of Christmas” look like to you? How do you celebrate it? I would love to have you share your story with us over at World Vision’s blog! You can also read some amazing posts on the true spirit of Christmas.