What Would Jesus Gift?
The other night my viewing of Love Actually was interrupted with the following commercial:
Christmas is coming full speed, but she’s got it covered. She’s The Gifter. Her plan of attack: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods. Epic gifts. Epic savings. Every day, even on Christmas Eve. Christmas accomplished. Out gift everyone with TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods.
The star is a sleek woman with a Carmen Sandiego thing going on. She prances about proudly displaying blankets, trucks, purses, and a random silver goblet she apparently got at these fine stores.
Although I found the goblet intriguing, something about the commercial really irritated me. Maybe it was my assumption that no one could really want or use the gifts. Maybe it was her desire to “out gift everyone.” I tried to suppress it, but I heard the curmudgeon inside of me say, “Come on, really?”
At a fundamental level, Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s true that the holiday is also a way to celebrate the beginning of winter, decorate the house with a Christmas tree and mistletoe, take the kids (or adults) to see Santa Claus, and attend so many holiday parties you actually start to get sick of alcohol and chocolate. There’s nothing wrong with any of these traditions. There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts. Presents rock!
But I would suggest that Christmas inspire you to be more than just The Gifter. It can’t just be about “accomplishing” Christmas and saddling your friends and family with tons of junk that will just end up landfills. Maybe in honor of the holiday, you should consider: What Would Jesus Gift? I mean, I think it’s a fair thing to ask, given that the holiday is actually his big birthday party.
Jesus was the definition of a giver. He gave loaves and fish to the multitudes (Matthew 14:19), he gave health to the sick (Mark 6:5), and he gave sight to the blind (Luke 7:21). Oh, and he also “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4).
That was a pretty big thing to do. Much bigger than a truck, a purse, or even (dare I say it?) a silver goblet. Isn’t that why Christmas is such a big holiday throughout the world? We’re not celebrating The Gifter, we’re celebrating The Giver.
I suppose if you want to actually “out gift” everyone, you should try to be The Giver instead of the The Gifter. Maybe reach out to someone and give their spirit something it really needs – some love, some compassion, some nourishment, some attention, some empathy. Shovel your neighbor’s snow. Call an old friend. Volunteer. Smile at your coworkers.
These are epic gifts, that don’t cost you a thing, and they’re available every day . . . even on Christmas Eve.
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