Monday, October 29, 2012

the best kind of gifts

The best gifts are those in which we give part of ourselves.  

I'm thinking about Christmas.  Already?  I know.  My fall is ending here; in a week I board a plane across the ocean, and when I return, it will be Christmas season.  I admit, the journey feels like a weird seasonal Twilight Zone, a month in a place bereft of November.  It will be November, but it won't be November.  Not this November with crispy crunchy leaf walks, pumpkin candles, and long Thanksgiving dinner tables.

So I'm already onto Christmas in my mind.  And onto thinking about gifts, trying to lay out what I can do before I leave and what will need to be done when I return.

True: Gifts can be stressful.

True with more truth: Gifts can be such a joy.

For firsts, Jesus.  The greatest gift to humanity.  Thanks to modern Christian marketing, it's impossible to write that and not think "cheesy."  But this is not cheese, this is not a sweatshirt with a Christmas slogan, no, this is a gift we have needed all along with such a great ache in our gut, a gift we still need desperately and violently, a gift we wonder at the goodness of when He gazes down at our faces.  Is this gift for real, really for me?  

I want to find joy in the gift-giving this year.  This idea of gifting our culture has propagandized -- spend more money on more crap you don't need -- this is not the way to joy.

The gifts I love best are those with meaning deep in the fiber.  The ones I walk by or hold in my hand with a smile.  I remember the giver, and I remember love.  They are just inanimate objects sitting still, all with a time bomb clock ticking down to rust and decay.   But for a short wave of time and space they represent more: love, sacrifice, intention, thought, all bound up in a little thing.  

I want to give those kind of gifts this year.






some gifts that mean much to me: 
1. a friendship rock from Aaron before we were dating / 2.  chapstick that my 3 year old niece had just received as a present and then gave to me / 3.  a sapphire ring from my grandma - we share September as a birthday month / 4.  an antique bowl from my mom / 5.  the trellis Aaron built for me / 6.  sweet personalized books made by my sister  / 7.  Bible given to me by my high school mentor - she left off my last name in case I ever got married :) / 8.  a scale from a friend who knew I was looking for one / 9.  a cake plate from Aaron's grandma that she bought years ago in Estes Park


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