Christmas Gifts – To Give or Not To Give?

One debate that has gone on for years in my family is the idea to give or not to give Christmas gifts with everyone in the family, and if we do, how much are we allowed to spend? On one hand, it gets very expensive and takes time to do all the Christmas shopping. It’s about spending time together, not getting wrapped up in materialism, right? However, on the other hand, it brings joy to think of others, to give a gift as a token of appreciation and thankfulness to those we love. Isn’t that why we decorate and bake Christmas cookies? Isn’t that why people decorate their houses for the holidays, to show how much we care? I always say, putting up Christmas lights outside is a gift you give your neighbors. I love tearing open gifts. It’s so much fun! I don’t need much, but it’s nice to be thought of, and to know that this mystery box has something in it that I have no clue about, but someone thought of me personally when they got it and wrapped it. Then to leave for home with a few things that are new is really fun! I believe that gift giving is symbolic of the gift God gave to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Do I think people can get carried away? Of course they can. I think that spending money within one’s means and not overdoing it can be just fine. Avoid feeling like you have to outdo someone else. If everyone gives as they are able with no expectations, then it works well. There are some years we have more money so people might get a little more. Other years the “harvest” is thin and we can’t give as much. It may even be dependent on what our loved ones want. One year my daughter wanted a camera, so we got that for her. That was more money than we would normally spend, but the next year it was mostly clothes with a smaller price tag overall than the year before. And that was okay! What do you think about Christmas gift giving? To give or not to give, to spoil or not to spoil, to be thoughtful or less thoughtful, or to be a mean ol’ bah humbug…these are the questions. James 1:17: “ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”


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