Have you ever received a gift from someone at Christmas that you didn’t care for? Worse yet, have you ever given someone a gift at Christmas that they didn’t care for? If you spent time and effort choosing the ideal gift for someone and they did not appreciate it, how did their lack of appreciation make you feel? What should our reaction be then to receiving the greatest gift of all? I invite you to read more.
When it comes to Christmas gift giving, what makes us feel better, giving a gift or receiving a gift? According to an article in Psychology Today written by Peg Streep the answer is neither. The article said that most people feel pressured by holiday gift giving. In her article, she asserts the following: “Isn’t giving presents supposed to make us happy? After all, the Bible does tell us that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Of course, in psychological terms, it’s a bit more complicated than that.” Her article puts forth the concept that many people react to bad or otherwise unwanted gifts they receive as being emblematic of the relationship they have with the giver.
This quote was found in her article: “My sister and brother-in-law are impossible to please. I dread seeing her pursed lips when she opens the package.”
According to another article, “The Social Psychology of Gifts” written by Barry Schwartz, “Gifts are one of the ways in which the pictures others have of us are transmitted.” Said differently, some people who receive a gift that they don’t care for might conclude that the giver of the gift doesn’t care for them.
But let’s turn this around. If this is true about a gift we don’t like, then what conclusion can we draw about a gift we really treasure and appreciate? Most people would conclude that the giver must really care for them.
A truly caring gift giver spends time assessing the ideal gift for the receiver. They know the recipient well, they understand the recipient’s needs and desires and they choose the perfect gift to meet those needs.
God is the perfect gift giver. On that first Christmas day long ago, He gave us the gift of His Son. God knew that despite our best attempts we would always be sinners. God longs to have us in Heaven with Him, and therefore He knew the ideal gift would free us from our sins. The Christ Child born in Bethlehem would later offer up His life on a cross at Calvary as His perfect gift for us.
So if it is true that a gift reflects the relationship between the gift giver and gift receiver, stop and think for a moment what God’s gift to us on Christmas says about His relationship with us. It says He loves us very much. Now take a moment and ask yourself: What has my reaction been to God’s gift to me of the Christ Child? How should we react to God perfect gift?
I will answer that question with words from a Christmas song that I treasure from my childhood. We should: “Touch hands on Christmas morning….touch hands and thank The Lord.” I hope you will do just that. Today, on this Christmas morning, be sure to give thanks for the most ideal gift ever given, Jesus Christ our Savior.
“For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” Luke 2:11
Please click the video below and enjoy my Christmas gift to everyone who reads 4th Day Letters. Merry Christmas!
Lord I pray that I will never under appreciate or stop giving thanks for the gift of your Son on that first Christmas morning. Father, I am forever grateful, amen!As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.