Giving with the generosity of Christ is this week's focus. I have a nifty little helper, the Seasoning the Season Advent Calendar. They have different ones but this is the one I have; thus the one I am using.
Last week's focus was "Greet others with expressions of God's love." It was fun hearing different things we can say to both strangers and friends. My new favorite is
Yesterday we had a very interactive conversation on gift giving and receiving. Here is a recap:
Q: Tell about a favorite gift you received at Christmastime. Why was it special to you?
A. 1. My Bible - I like how it has places to help me live today - it makes me want to read it more. 2. Gold-Toe Socks - they're really nice and feel good on my feet. 3. The huge blue bag with my name on it. (#2 says, "Yeah, that's one of my favorite's too.) Why? It's mine. 4. The year I got the gift of time. That was so special. 5. The nice pajamas and robe set - they were so warm and snugly. All - whatever it was, it made me feel loved and special.
Q. What kinds of gifts trivialize the act of gift-giving? Which of these are most difficult to avoid?
A. The gifts that you know someone just bought because it was cheap and no thought was put it to it. It's hard to avoid these because "I" don't have any money and it's easy to buy in mass and just hand it out.
Q. How do you choose gifts for those on your list? How you can better season them with the meaning of God's greatest Gift to the world? What kinds of meaningful, small gifts might appeal to those with whom you might exchange presents?
A. I don't' want to bore you, but this was a great exercise! It was interesting to hear that they like to give non-practical gifts but like to receive things they'll really use... they liked the effect opening the gift brings - delight, surprise, tears, smiles... they want to see your reaction and see if it matches what they wanted it to be.
We discussed which gifts makes us feel loved and how we can continue to show that love to each other with each gift we buy, make or bake!
To give with the generosity of Christ, James Lundeen says,
Giving to the poor is not something we have to do because that's the way things work in the kingdom, whether we like it or not. The commandment to care for others was not meant to be a burden. Jesus, who always talked about blessings, commanded us to care for our neighbors because it was a blessing to us as well.