Gift giving is an important part of how many celebrate Christmas. Tragically, however, gift giving has become more about “stuff” and attempting to meet our insatiable lusts for bigger, better, and newer toys and gadgets. Someone said that Christmas gift-giving has degenerated to the point of trying to “find something for someone who has everything and needs nothing.” To think, we go into debt and divert needed resources for “stuff” that will be worn out or obsolete by next Christmas — if it even makes it out of the box!
What if we allowed Good Friday, instead of Black Friday, to inform our Christmas gift giving? Good Friday gift giving would transform the way we experience the Christmas season. It would turn our focus from “stuff” to relationships. Let’s remember that the first Christmas gift is described in John 3:16—For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son — Jesus —that we may have eternal life. The next Christmas gifts were given by Magi. They were valuable gifts that celebrated the life and purpose of Jesus’ life and anticipated His death. They were gifts of thanksgiving and worship that honored the Christ-child. With this as our inspiration, let’s give gifts that enhance and deepen our relationships this year. Let’s give gifts that honor, appreciate, or generously meet the needs of others. Some of these gifts may come from the store, many will not. But all of these gifts must come from the heart as we say Merry Christmas, a Savior is born, who is Christ the Lord.
The Playskool Playhouse was a hit on Christmas morning and served as a wonderful toy for all of our children through their growing up years. At some point along the way it was passed on to another family and today, I have no ideawhere that playhouse is. I will, however, always cherish my memories of that cold, rainy Friday morning spent with my wife. After all, Christmas gifts are really about relationships. So, as you look to give gifts this Christmas, will you let Good Friday, not Black Friday, guide your generosity and shape your memories.