On Christmas day our pastor gave a sermon about the meaning of gifts, what the type of gifts say about the giver and what they says about what the giver thinks of the recipient.
It gave me some serious food for thought. It made me look at the type of gifts that I give, why I give them and to whom I give them. It also made me look at how I receive gifts. If anyone has ever read the Five Love Languages, you will know that gifts are one of the love languages. While some people merely like receiving gifts a person who has gifts as a love language loves receiving and equally love giving them. I am one of those people. The value of the gift is inconsequential, but the thought and process is crucial to me.
I have a few rules by which I judge a received gift:
1. Did the person put any planning into it? For an acquaintance this is not important, but if it is a special friend or a spouse or family member, I want to know that they did not run out on Christmas Eve in a panic to find the gifts.
2. Did the person think and about my wants and needs. People, who know me well, know that even though I love chocolate it does terrible things to my health, so buying me chocolate ultimately makes me suffer. I am also prone to take care of others instead of myself, so while buying a facial product for someone else may go unappreciated, I probably bought something for my daughter instead of getting my cleanser or toner, so that would be a very welcome gift.
3. I also love spontaneous presents, so just getting me flowers or trinket for no real reason is a real delight.
4. I know a couple within our extended family that do not put much priority into gifts, but if they know that I am buying then they will but something. A gift given out of guilt or pressure never goes down well for me.
5. For my parents I courier gifts down to them because if I like receiving gifts, I feel that I need to show them equal respect.
There was a time in my life, where gifts were an extreme luxury, so I empathise when others are not able to spend. But a spirit of generosity does not have to be expensive.
1. Picking flowers and making and arrangement for someone you are care about.
2. Making dinner for your mom or dad in their own home or giving your spouse the night off.
3. Running a bubble bath with candles and music for a loved one.
4. Giving a voucher for one foot massage every week for a month.
The gifts spend on the person’s needs and personality, but you can still be creative based on their personality.
My daughter often runs around and gift wraps my nail varnish or lip liner and gives these to me. I love these spontaneous gesture because it shows me that she has a naturally generosity in her and that is a special gift from the Lord for her.
Go on, spread the love.