Turn the season on its head
I want to rebel. I want to start making a bigger deal out of people's birthday gifts than their Christmas gifts. It seems stranger and stranger NOT to do it that way. Afterall, a birthday is for celebrating a loved one. Christmas, in theory, is for celebrating Christ. And what better way to do that than to spend hundreds of dollars on frivolous gifts for people who arguably could get the darn thing for themselves if they really wanted to?
Hmmmm. Something is amiss. I hate to sound Grinch-ish, because it really is fun to bless people with nice little surprises and in turn receive some of my own. The only trouble is, rarely are these gifts a surprise, because we've been trained to make wish lists so detailed that they have everything but a map to the store. And we all know how obligation zaps any remaining delight from the process. Plus you're spending all that money at once, which leaves our bank accounts saying "ouch!"
Birthdays seem a much saner and more logical option. You can spread your gift giving out through the year, and really take the opportunity to bless that person in a meaningful way (since he or she is the primary person being celebrated).
What got me thinking about this was a display at the department store with at least a dozen World Vision pamphlets, each unique with a smiling young face on the front. Part of me thought it was a smart move to display these so close to the cash register, because people are extra-generous this time of year. Another part of me thought there are probably a bunch of people who would love to help, but are already over-budget on Christmas shopping.
Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Christmas is a the celebration of Heaven's ultimate gift to humanity: Christ. And it couldn't have been given to a more hungry and needy group of people: Us.
Wouldn't it be something if, in honor of HIS birthday, we gave gifts that Jesus would love? Charity. Love. Peace...to one another. This is what so many of us have received because of Christmas. What better time of year to give it away again?
I want to rebel. I'm going to try this next year. Birthdays of bounty for my loved ones, and Christmases of kindness for those in need. Wish me luck...