Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church
Have you ever given much thought to the different kinds of gifts you give each year?
There are the obligatory gifts. These are the gifts that you should just “give them something.” Maybe it is the gift for someone at work, a service provider, or the nice couple next door. You can spot those shopping for obligatory gifts. They are the ones wandering aimlessly through the stores searching for something that doesn’t cost much, but looks nice. They have no idea what to give; they just know they need to get them something. I am pretty sure that Hickory Farms makes a killing on obligatory gifts. After all who doesn’t like a nice meat and cheese tray!
There are the gifts for a gift. This gets really tricky because you are trying to anticipate who will give you a gift, so that you are ready to respond with a gift in kind. No one likes that awkward moment when a friend presents you with a gift and you have nothing to offer in return. So you want to be ready, but at the same time, you don’t want pick out a gift for someone only to find out they are not giving you something in return. You don’t spot this kind of shopper, but you do overhear the conversation. Shopper One; “I don’t see why we have to get them something. It is not like they are family.” Shopper Two; “Last year they gave us that big meat and cheese tray and I didn’t have anything for them! It was so embarrassing!”
There are the gifts of love. This is when you desire to express your love for the other person. It could be the exchange of gifts between couples, parents to children and grandparents to grandchildren; anyone who wants to get just the right thing. For example tailoring a gift of jewellery to a sporty, active individual by choosing silicone rings instead of metal. These are the kind of gifts that make us believe that it is better to give than to receive. For example, if you find an amazing watch from a site like https://www.watchshopping.com/men-s.html that you’re going to gift to a family member, the joy that giving that gift will give you will mean more to you than whatever money you spent on it. Once we see the expression on their face light up when they take off the wrapping paper all of the searching, fighting the crowds, and more is all worth it. If you’re in need of gift ideas, check out custom bobbleheads for a unique approach to present buying.
Then there are the gifts of self. This is the greatest gift a person can give or receive. It doesn’t come from a store. It comes from the heart. This is the gift from God “who so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) This is where the gift giving found its beginning, when God gave the greatest gift – the gift of Himself. “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7).