Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving for the right reasons

*Names have not been used to protect the "guilty". :-)
** I would rather get a Christmas photo card or "send out card, than nothing" :-)
*** I really, really do despise Christmas letters/brag letters...

I know someone who frets and worries that they will get a Christmas card from someone they didn't send one to. They have sent out a card at the last minute because Great Aunt Freda sent them one this year.

Someone else I know informed me that this year, they are only sending cards to people who send them one first.

Now, both of these people are important to me, but it amuses me, and I am not criticizing or knocking them, for all to many of us are guilty. Whatever happened to giving because it is the season to give, because God gave us His Son - which is what Christmas is all about. Are we really that shallow that we can only give to those who are going to give us? Had God done that, I am afraid there never would have been a Savior sent to the world. No virgin birth, no king born in a manger.

For varying reasons, my card giving is down this year. I am pretty much sending cards to people I don't see often. And yes, two of those people sent me a card, but I was already planning on sending them a card.

So why do we give? Just to reciprocate a gift given to us, or because we know a gift will be given? Do we give out of duty? It is expected that we give a gift to our brother-in-law, though we hate his guts.

I have given out of duty, out of reciprocation. And sometimes it is necessary, but it is sad. Giving should be done in love, because the person means something to us and we want to show them that.

I guess that is why I am not a fan of photo cards, Christmas letters, or the new "in thing" - send-out-cards. Anything mass-produced just doesn't cut it for me. I'm sorry. I received a card this morning at church that made my day. Inside, it wasn't just signed by the givers of the cards. They wrote "love and prayers_____" and then the good part: "You are a special guy and we appreciate your friendship." I feel good all over again typing that. I didn't give them a card yet, but was planning on it - but they gave me a card and wrote a nice message in it and made this guy feel very good. Not sure where they got the idea I am special, but it made my day.

So this Christmas, let us put aside the giving out of duty or reciprocation -and give for the right reasons. Give a gift or card to someone who most likely will not give you one back. Better yet, give a gift to someone anonymously, Toys for Tots, or the Angel Christmas Tree thing. I could be wrong, but when we give to someone who we are not expecting something back - I think that is when we nail down what this season is all about.


love2bake said...

Did you read the adult SS paper from this morning? It had a really good story in it about giving to those who are in need because we want to. I know of a family who no longer buys gifts for their kids at Christmas. They get them things throughout the year, but they focus on giving to others during the Christmas season. I thought that was really neat.
This year at SWA, they are having the school families bring in items to make gift baskets for the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Alliance. I hope next year they'll do something for needy families in the community.
I know some of the kids were really disappointed to not exchange names with their classmates, but my kids weren't the least bit disappointed. And, I have to admit, I was glad we didn't have to go through the torture of trying to figure out what to buy for kids that I don't know very well.

H said...

nice blog