I went Christmas shopping tonight. And I’m a little confused, which is to be expected. How is it that Christmas has become so filled with greed? I e-mail my parents a list of ‘gimmes’ and continually add to it as I see stuff I want. I was looking around—tonight in fact—and I saw a CD that looked really good. It just came out, and I didn’t have a chance to put it on my list. Well, I don’t want to pay for it myself, after all, it’s almost Christmas. So I’ll just tell my parents to add it to my list. That’s about the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard.
Why is it that we wait until the Christmas season to even think of giving gifts to our loved ones? The other eleven months out of the year the thought doesn’t even cross my mind. And now all of a sudden I’m scouring the malls, trying to find the perfect present. If they really are our loved ones, wouldn’t we be thinking of them all the time, and notice something they’d like and go ahead and give it to them? But no, we have to wait until Christmas. What would my Dad say if I sent him a present in the middle of April? I think he’d be a little shocked. But doesn’t that make so much more sense? Spend a little bit here and there through out the year, as opposed to one lump sum in December. And if you actually waited like that to find a present, you wouldn’t be giving just because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’d be giving because you want to. There would be no obligation.
I think the idea of a Christmas list is silly. If they’re our loved ones, don’t we know them well enough to know what they’d like? And it’s not a matter of what they want. Giving and receiving gifts isn’t about getting exactly what you want. Gifts are exactly that. They’re surprises. They’re unexpected joys that show us just how much someone cares about us. Just how much someone knows us. Just how much someone loves us.
The gift of Jesus for example. We were perfectly content in our sin. But God had something better for us. He didn’t pick an item off our Christmas list. He found something we really needed. He found something He knew we would like more than anything else. We were a little confused at first, but then it all cleared up and life became abundantly more. He gave us Jesus Christ for Christmas.
With that in mind, I think this year I’m not going to get anyone what’s on their list. I’m just going to find them something I think they would enjoy. Something I probably should have bought for them the first time I saw it. It may not be the exact CD they wanted, but I think it will be something they’ll enjoy. There’s just something wrong when you open your presents on Christmas morning and can check each and every gift off your ‘want’ list.