Gift giving looks so airbrushed and magical in shopping ads, but what’s the reality? How do you cut out the drama and unwrap Jesus?
One of the mysteries around Christmas time for a blogger is figuring out how businesses have gotten a hold of my email — in order to spam me with their holiday gift guides. Is your mailbox crammed full of holiday catalogs, too?
Gift giving is obviously a source of headache because stores are marketing the promise of eliminating your gift giving woes. I recently came across an article that ranked the top selling holiday gifts ever. As I scanned the list that included Tickle Me Elmo and Beanie Babies, flashbacks to holiday crazed shoppers came flooding back.
Giving the perfect gift drives people to turn a little crazy. Many times, seriously so.
Gift Giving Drama Support Group
We don’t talk about it much, but some of the secret scars we carry from holidays come from gift giving drama.
Maybe gift giving anxieties developed during childhood now play into adulthood. You could’ve been the recipient. You could’ve been the giver.
Rejection, disappointment, and missed expectations. So many reasons why the unwrapping experience can leave you burned.
If there was a Gift Giving Drama Support Group, we’d all circle around and confess our gift giving nightmares.
Can I offer a bit of encouragement and comfort?
I got the idea while reading Jesus Unwrapped posts last week from Faith Barista Jam bloggers.
Glynn Young shared his timeline of Christmas gift wishes, which made me think: How does Jesus feel about my Christmas giving experience over the years?
HisFireFly shared an interesting idea. She’s wrapping a present under the Christmas tree for Jesus.
So I started brainstorming ways to handle the drama of gift giving at Christmas. I drew from a lifetime’s worth of stressful dilemmas.
Here they are.
8 Ways To Handle Gift Giving Drama at Christmas
1. Don’t give a gift out of guilt. Giving a gift because you fear rejection sucks the joy out of Christmas. Consider what motivated God to give that first Christmas, when He gave His greatest gift of His Son.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. ~ John 3:16
2. Do give the gift your heart wants to give. Stop giving gifts people expect you to give, in order to give what God has placed on your heart. If it meets an unappreciative disapproval, bring those feelings of rejection to the God who gets it. His gift was undervalued too. Yet, He still gave.
“Though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” 1 John 1:10-11
3. Don’t spend more money to show how much you care. God apparently picked the economy package when He wrapped His Gift in a manger. Yet, God could have rocked Baby Jesus in a Tiffany inspired gold cradle in a diamond encrusted castle. God focused on the value of His Presence, being Immanuel with us.
4. Do give richly from the Five Love Languages. Get creative and give a gift in your family or friend’s love language.
1) Words of affirmation (Write a poem about your friend & frame it)
2) Time (Wrap a fave tea or coffee and include an invitation to your place/cafe in January for coffee.)
3) Acts of service (Babysitting “gift card”. Watch your friend’s kid for one date night or morning off. Priceless!)
4) Touch (Invite an alone friend over or drop by someone in need who would appreciate a visit. Not all presents need to be wrapped and put under a tree. It may not be called a “gift”, but Jesus says, “You did it to the least of these, you did it to me.” Matt. 25:40)
5) Gifts (Any thoughtful token of friendship. Give simply out of your heart.)
7. Don’t give to earn love and approval, but as an expression of your joy.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7
6. Do appreciate the heavenly treasures you are storing up. A heart that values eternal things like faith, love, and God is storing up treasures in heaven. What will Christmas look like when we sit next to Jesus in eternity, newlywed with our Bridegroom?
“Each man’s work will become evident ; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.” 1 Cor. 3:13
7. Don’t give apologetically. Maybe you’re hesitant about your hand-made or smaller gifts. Please don’t be apologetic because Jesus sees values the faith behind the giving. Remember the widow who just dropped two small coins into the offering box? Jesus said —
“This poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty” Luke 21:1-4
8. Do focus your energies on giving to Jesus. Think about the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus —
Gold. Kingly gift symbolizing value and worship.
Frankincense. Perfume symbolizing prayers.
Myrrh. Embalming oil symbolizing death.
Which will you bring to Jesus this Christmas?
Is there —
— something you value
— a prayer (need or desire)
— a figurative death
you can offer to Jesus?
Write it down on a slip of paper.
Wrap it up.
Put it under the tree. For Jesus.
If we prioritize #8, we will find ourselves empowered with greater confidence, freedom and joy to practice the rest.
If you need some tape to wrap your Magi-inspired gift, lemme know. I’d be happy to lend you mine. I’m almost done here…
I’d love to hear from you.
What are your Do’s and Don’ts on gift giving drama at Christmas?
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Keep faith fresh with a faith prompt and add your voice to this community.
Today’s topic: Your Unwrapping Jesus Discoveries
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link”. You can also share directly by simply commenting below.
Next Thursday 12/16: Share your Unwrapping Jesus Discoveries —
Keep a lookout for:
*1. Ways to celebrate Christmas simply.
*2. Inspiring moments that fill you with God’s love, joy, peace, or hope.
*3. Encouragement to see Christmas in a new way.
*4. A Fresh Take on the Gift of Jesus.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
Build the Keep Fresh Fresh Community: Link back to Faith Barista or grab this month’s special Christmas Faith Barista Jam Badge to place in your post. Click here.
It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!
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