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