Merry Christmas, But Don’t Expect a Gift From Me

Gift2by Gibblet   12/17/13
I don’t buy Christmas gifts. Everyone who would customarily be on my Christmas list appears to have everything they need, and some stuff they don’t.

Though it concerns me that someone might feel slighted by not getting a gift from me, in protest to the marketing opportunity that Christmas has become, I don’t buy Christmas gifts. I’m certainly not against capitalism or profits. It is just a shame that something that started out so good has morphed into an annual orgy of consumerism. That “something” is the giving of a special gift, meant to be cherished not only for its content but for the gift-givers love represented by it.[pullquote]People who reject His gift because they have everything they need. They have themselves.[/pullquote]

Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t know the original Christmas gift is Jesus Christ? Fathom the vastness of the Father’s love that He would send His holy Son, humbly, to a world of people He knew would not appreciate the incomparable value of His gift. People who reject His gift because they have everything they need. They have themselves.

Yet, there are some who choose to receive His gift – and He calls them His children:

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:12-14

What a gift! Think of the implications of being a child of One so loving, so powerful, so generous. Think of the favor, the blessings, the opportunities! Think of the future, the promise, the inheritance that comes with being a child of the living God!

Think of the gratitude that such a gift deserves. How can it ever be expressed?

Wouldn’t gratitude in the form of praise of such a great gift be appropriate? Yes, indeed! And praise upon praise to the giver, as well! And wouldn’t the One who sets the example of ultimate gift-giving be honored if I attempt to imitate Him? I believe so, but I don’t buy Christmas gifts.

I don’t buy gifts at Christmas, because I don’t want to be so caught up in trying fulfill the impossible expectations of finding the ‘perfect Christmas gift’ that I neglect to appreciate the one truly perfect gift – Jesus Christ. I like to take this time to offer special praises to the Father and the Son. I have the rest of the year to express my love to family and friends, and sometimes strangers, in various ways. Ways that can be fun or just funny, or that might be sacrificial or difficult. Ways that may require humility or effort, or make me vulnerable to judgement or rejection. Ways that I hope will bring honor and glory to God. Ways that reflect my deep appreciation for the great gift I have received.

Merry Christmas! If you haven’t yet, I hope you receive the perfect gift. • (1043 views)

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4 Responses to Merry Christmas, But Don’t Expect a Gift From Me

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Let me give you all some back story on this article.

    Pokey and a friend came to my office yesterday. We got to talking about this site and the kinds of contributions that their slavish editor typically tries to strong-arm from people — without financial remuneration, I might add. What a Scrooge.

    This is a busy time of year for everyone, including Pokey. But she was game regarding writing something about the Christmas season. However, she requested that I first name the topic. I think that helps everyone involved get focused and get over the inevitable procrastination.

    So the topic I gave her was how to celebrate an authentic and meaningful Christmas while living inside the tsunami of commercialism. I don’t know how to do that myself. I’m more Scrooge than Tiny Tim.

    Pokey seemed amenable to this topic. But time was going to be a problem so she said she’d do something after the New Year. And then, in lovely irony considering that she and her friend had just given me a gift of smoked salmon and chocolate cupcakes, she told me not to expect anything for Christmas. She doesn’t give Christmas presents.

    Well, I wondered how that had come about and thought that her explanation for this practice (or non-practice, really) would be interesting to read. So I said, “You just came up with your own essay topic. I expect it on my desk by the 20th so that others will have time to enjoy it and perhaps inspire them to write their own Christmas thoughts (also without pay, of course).” And darned if her written gift didn’t show up early and in my email inbox this morning.

    I encourage others to write a Christmas story, no matter how long or short, and to submit it for publication. It can be happy, sad, meaningful, trivial, true or fiction, or just whatever.

    I’ve always thought that this site ought to be about busting somewhat out of the mundane and expressing oneself — but not in pursuit of literary narcissism, fame, ego, or status, but in pursuit of meaning. Socialism, first and foremost, is about dissolving the individual mind and having it be absorbed into a collective. It becomes too easy to lose oneself in the herd, to think only thoughts that have beforehand been anointed by “society” as okay to express. In any kind of collectivism it is too easy to lose who we are, just as the commercialization of Christmas can too easily wallpaper over the meaning of that day.

    But that day might have a different meaning for some of you. I don’t take it for granted that we all are Christians. And I don’t suppose that even all Christians have avoided the heavy secular bent to this time of year wherein everything, as it is in many places now, becomes a plain vanilla “Winter Festival” filled with snowmen, not angels. And those stories are legitimate as well. It’s not necessarily the official story of Christmas I’m looking for, but your story. And it does take some bravery to tell it. That I understand. And Pokey, once again, has accessed her inner Sarah Palin and done the remarkable. So I have remarked as well!

  2. Glenn Fairman says:

    A fine piece. Mission accomplished…..

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pokey, I’m thinking that I should probably guilt you into breaking with your no-gift policy by buying you a real nice gift. Then I’ll have you trapped. It’s a cunning plan.

    And did I mention there’s a First Prize for the best Christmas essay? And people are going to love the prize…a half dozen chocolate cupcakes baked by Pokey (and they are probably the best I’ve ever had). So, as long as you don’t hand them out on the 25th, I figure I’ve got you again. I’m awful generous with your gifts, I know.

    But right now you are the front-runner. Your essay is awesome. Maybe I can bate Ron into writing something. He has told me some great stories (sometimes sad stories) about some of his recent Christmas ventures.

    • Pokey Possum says:

      Oh hey, Brad, that’s a great strategy. I would gratefully accept a gift from you. The nicer the better. Go all out, by all means. A cunning plan for sure…..

      And competition, too? What fun! I’ll be happy to provide cupcakes or Killer Muffins to the winner. C’mon Ron, watcha got? Anybody else?

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