Doesn’t it begin to feel obscene to continue to purchase more and more things to give to people who need nothing and have the resources to obtain whatever they may lack when our brothers and sisters in the forgotten corners of the world are still hungry? Especially when the Child we celebrate at Christmastime teaches us to care for the poor, give generously, consider others better than ourselves, and be the servant of all.
Doesn’t it feel ridiculous to wrap up another GPS, gift card, sweater, or New York Times Bestseller to give to those we love, when what we really need from one another is love, community, a sense of belonging, and presence?
As a daughter of God who seeks to be a purveyor of grace, I’m looking for a better option. I want my giving to come from a place of purpose. This will look different for all of us depending on the dynamics of our family and the issues that are currently stirring our individual spirits. Personally, I have found places like The Hunger Site, Global Girlfriend and World Vision to be helpful, as well as spending time reflecting on what it is that I can give to those in my circle of influence that no one else can, such as carefully penned words of blessing.
At the end of the day, it is my deepest desire that my gift giving this holiday season would be an expression of the nature of God as filtered through the life God has given me, and that those receiving from me would, on some level, feel the warmth of God’s love. When Jesus entered the space of humanity, he changed forever the way we relate to God. God’s gift of Jesus changed everything once and for all and placed the ultimate gift of friendship with God within our grasp. Our meager gift giving can never match that, but my hope is that on some level, these simple gifts I give in love will radiate with the energy of God’s grace.