Gift Giving

In yesterday’s post I went on about consumerism and we have lost the true sense of what Christmas is all about. It’s less about the gifts and more about expressions of love after all that is what the entire Nativity is all about. Jesus was born so that we might live! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) As a side note this is the most often quoted verse in the Bible.
Last night a friend contacted me via Facebook message. She is too shy she says to comment in the open, I think not! Anyway she said a tradition that her family has used is that they limit their gift giving to three gifts each, one for each of the three gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus when they came to worship Him. I had never heard of this before and I think it is wonderful tradition.
It reminds us that this holiday should be less about the gifts and more about the meaning behind the Christmas Season. Besides the story of Jesus being born we also have the story of St. Nicholas. Not the red suit, white bearded, cookie eating Santa Clause, but Saint Nicholas. The story is told that he was paying the dowry for three impoverished young girls. He threw the bag of coins in the window as he passed by the house. No one knew who this was until years later. St. Nicholas not only gave a gift of gold but he gave the gift of compassion and mercy by helping these girls that would have faced a life of terrible service.
We can learn much from this story. It is not about the gift but about the love behind the gift. Maybe limit your gift giving to three gifts this year, as my friend is doing, and with the remaining funds support the local food bank or buy a gift for the Toys for Tots program. I always say that we need to support the local charities but you can also look on a global scale by supporting the work of Heifer International or other such programs. We need to teach of children the true spirit of Christmas and not just the materialistic part.
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