What IS it about Christmas and gift giving that causes SO MUCH STRESS on the one giving and the one receiving?!?!
Here is what I mean…
The one giving the gift has the pressure of “getting it right” – making sure they give a gift that the other person either needs or really wants. BUT – is it the right color? The right kind? The right size?
And if it is not the right size, if I get it too big will they think I think they are fat? If I get it too small, will they think I am trying to tell them something?
If I spend too much, what will others think about their gift from me because I didn’t spend the same amount?
Or are you like so many others who say, “I’m just going to get them a gift card, because they are SO HARD to shop for!”
OR, “I really don’t have enough money, but I can make them something…I wonder if they will think I am cheap for not buying them something.”
The one receiving has the pressure of “responding the right way” to the gift given. Do I act surprised even though I know what they are giving? What do I do if I don’t like the gift, or the color?
What if it is the wrong size, how do I let them know? What if I give the wrong facial expression, they might think I don’t appreciate their gift?
What if I didn’t get them the same cost value gift as they are giving me? They may think I don’t think of them the same way!
Christmas can be the most deceptive time of the year when it comes to our relationships.
Should we put on an act? Or should we just be thankful someone thought of us at all?
Is it necessary to get a gift for someone I consider part of my life?
Lots of questions haunt this time of year because of our tradition of giving and receiving gifts. The sad part is, we have a tendency to place more emphasis on the gift and what it means about our relationships that we forget showing love and appreciation for someone should happen all through the year, not just on Christmas day.
We do not need to give physical gifts to show someone how much we are grateful they are in our lives.
Sometimes, just a warm hug and letting them know verbally how much and why we are thankful for their relationship with us can mean more than any physical item that is bought, given and received on ANY day of the year.
I am not a proponent of NOT giving gifts. Not one iota. I love seeing the expression on someone’s face when they truly to receive something they need or desire. Just look at this video of people receiving puppies for Christmas…
We truly put more pressure on ourselves than is necessary. We should never compare our friendships, family and any other meaningful relationship to the size or cost of a gift given and received.
What makes the relationship meaningful is the fact that even if NO gifts were ever given, you know you can rely on that person for support, love, caring, a listening ear, acceptance, respect, forgiveness, encouragement, appreciation, affirmation, and time well-spent.
Maybe this imbalance in gift giving and receiving is the reason why SO MANY people cannot accept that Jesus was a free gift to the world…
He was the gift that God know we needed. He wasn’t a gift that came wrapped in the best, shiniest wrapping paper with a perfect bow. He was the gift that came wrapped in strips of cloth lying over hay.
He wasn’t a gift that was accepted by many because he wasn’t what they were expecting or hoping for.
Still today, Jesus is a gift – His birth, life, sacrifice and coming back to life IS the most free gift anyone could ever receive. However, many of us don’t give the gift to others of how He has changed our lives and transformed our thinking.
This Christmas – go ahead and give your gifts, receive your gifts, and provide as many warm hugs as you can. Just remember, it is not the value of the physical gift you give someone that makes the relationship. It is the value you find in the relationship that makes the difference.
Show someone that you value them – even those you do not know – and recognize they are there, that they are valuable – not because of the gift you are giving them, but because they are one of God’s creative masterpieces.
Merry Christmas to you and may God fill the rest of this year with joy!
I am very curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thank you so much for continuing to read. You can email me or respond to this post by Commenting below.