Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Prodigal Christmas


Christmas shopping. 
I love it. It's a feast for my eyes and speaks volumes for my love language. All of the lights, glitter, cozy displays, festive music, scented everything and airy excitement is a bit of an overdose for this eye luster. It's like a drug of sorts. Just as a mess can send me crashing, so Christmas scenes can spike my sugars. Closing my eyes for just a moment or two helps to gain control over the whole blood sugar level thing. The purpose for being out in this delight is to buy presents for the people I love. Another high. Hunting for that perfect something for that imperfect someone is a pleasure and a gift in itself, for me. 
Not just hunting for but, preferably, creating for my loved ones is so meaningful. If I could, I would spend most of my time making things for people...and I do, for much of it...but not everyone can use what I make. See, the practical side of me has to get it's edgewise word in too. I love to serve people and I love to give things to people, therefore, hand made gifts are a double-whammy. So, when people say Christmas is "not about the gifts", something in me slumps. It's my yearly, guilt free, season of love splurging. Loving in my own personal, preferential way...double-dipping in the love department. 

Disclaimer...It really has little to do with money. Commercialism will not be helped by my little addiction. The value of the gift is hardly related to amount of money spent on it. It's the thinking, planning, resourcefulness and creativity that goes into the gift that gives it the value. The way it is custom made, or purchased, for that person's heart. the economy benefits a bit, for sure, but my well below-average Christmas budget is not going to jingle any bells in that arena. I just cannot, and will not, go out and buy just anything for anyone. It's like flattery or shallow motions to me. I won't even bother. They'll know it's not from the heart. Time, paying attention and out-of-box thinking will find the love gift, not a big budget. Learning to separate spending money and giving gifts takes thought and practice. Getting caught up in giving rather than commercialism is a good thing. 
Jesus gave everything He had. His comfy position with the Father, His reputation and due honor. Lived a short, unworldly, unimpressive, uncomfortable life which climaxed in agony and loneliness. His service and gifts were met with ingratitude and misrepresentation. His love was called hate, madness and arrogance. The world did not really know Him and certainly did not love Him. It's desire for sin and comfort blinded it to the Truth and still walks in willful deception. 
Sometimes your gifts will not be received with the joy, tears and elation that you expect them to. Sometimes your gifts will go unnoticed, set aside and re-gifted. Jesus experienced that too. I've done it to Him many times myself. Give anyway. Give till it hurts. Give in and out of season. Give what God tells you to give and not what feels right. Trust the Giver and let true love work it's magic.
Go ahead and spend prodigally...your energy, thinking, searching and making, not your money.
 Learn what love really looks like, give it away and be amazed.