Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

NewsBreak Column: Gift Giving During A Tough Economy – Christmas Light November 30, 2008

The following was published in San Clemente Presbyterian’s NEWSBREAK magazine. Editors are welcome to use it as a FREE REPRINT, simply by adding my byline. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

 

While making our lists and checking them twice, my husband and I dubbed our holiday gift-giving plan, “Christmas Light.” Not the kind of light that decks the front lawn, or twinkles from atop a Douglas fir—or even the Light of the world. Our “light” is a synonym for “fat-free”, back-to-basics, no frills. Remembering Christmases past with abundant gifts under the tree, I feel a little like the prodigal son, returning humbly, yet hopeful.

 

Whoever I ask about their all-time favorite Christmas gift, without fail, I’m told a story about a small but thoughtful gesture which left a lasting impression. No one has ever mentioned a material item that did not hold powerful emotional significance. When the wise men brought frankincense. gold and myrrh for Baby Jesus, what resonated with Mary was not their value, but what they represented—gifts suitable for a King.

 

Christmas itself represents the lasting impression of a small, but meaningful gesture: The humble birth of a baby to a young woman faithful to God. We continue to celebrate that birth around the world because of the Life it represents.

 

Two Christmases ago, after months of frustration and disagreement over what to name our unborn child, my husband presented a card addressed to my belly. In it, he shared his desire to call our baby Noah, a Biblical name I had always loved, but my unbelieving husband had not. His gracious acceptance has left a lasting mark on our family. Two years before that, his gift to me was his mother’s wedding ring and a proposal. This is a man who knows how to give good gifts!

 

This year, I’m going to approach gift-giving the same way. In order to do this, I must thoughtfully consider what is fundamentally important to the receiver, embrace the workings of their heart. Rather than standing in line for the latest whatever, I will stand for something greater.

 

I’ll give gifts that represent something greater; not only will the thought be what counts, it will matter most.

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6 Responses to “NewsBreak Column: Gift Giving During A Tough Economy – Christmas Light”

  1. Vgossip Says:

    Tough times call for stringent gifts 🙂

    PS: People would understand!

  2. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onGift Giving During A Tough Economy – Christmas Light « Motherhood …Here’s a quick excerptWhile making our lists and checking them twice, my husband and I dubbed our holiday gift-giving plan, “Christmas Light.” Not the kind of light that decks the front lawn, or twinkles from atop a Douglas fir—or even the Light of the world … […]

  3. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onGift Giving During A Tough Economy – Christmas Light « Motherhood …Here’s a quick excerptWhoever I ask about their all-time favorite Christmas gift, without fail, I’m told a story about a small but thoughtful gesture which left a lasting impression. No one has ever mentioned a material item that did not hold powerful … […]

  4. Wes Wood Says:

    I too was facing the issue of how to stretch my gift giving dollars and discovered craft project kits by this company called Foldin’ Money on Amazon.com and the name implies exactly what it is, money folded into designs such as cake, a shirt and a star. The directions were clear and easy to follow. I spent about $45 dollars to purchase the three kits and spent about another $30 in creating the folded money designs. Using fabric and stickers I had around the house, I decorated them in holiday themes for the people on my list. Now my Christmas shopping’s done and I’m excited about giving homemade gifts this year. But the best part is, it’s MONEY that they can spend because the designs unfold and the decorations come off.

    Hope that helps, Merry Christmas!

    Wes

  5. Candice Says:

    Hi,
    Your blog is beautiful. Please visit me at http://www.nurseryartist.com, this week we are talking about Organic Baby Gifts and how to create and Eco-Friendly Home for your baby on our blog at http://www.nurseryartist.com/OrganicBaby

  6. rjlacko Says:

    Thanks for your ideas, Wes.
    Today, I’m elbows deep in my good intentions–I have taken an old-fashioned approach to Christmas by making a number of things by hand: our very own family Advent Calendar, recycled and remolded crayons for my son’s social circle, and hand-made Christmas cards, just to name a few. Phew!
    It’s nice to hear that you’ve found the perfect item for everyone on your list. It’s a win-win!


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