“To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.”
E. B. White
If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I am not a “Christmas Person.” I admire, and am slightly in awe of, people who go all out; who decorate the house, trim the tree, string lights everywhere, and wear really bad Christmas sweaters. I have friends who do all that, and I love them, but it's not for me. Maybe I'm just stingy—entirely possible—but I don't enjoy shopping for gifts that have a 50-50 chance of being duds, or at least, being something the receiver does not want, and will never use. In fact, I don't enjoy shopping...period. So, the economically important, commercial season of Christmas, which now begins at Halloween, and runs right through January, leaves me cold. E.B. White most likely wrote the words above in the 1940's, so this "wrapping" of Christmas in money has been going on for a long time.
Each of us has a way in which we feel authentic in our giving, and for some folks, buying an expensive gift, or even something kitschy, is an honest expression of love. I received a Christmas card yesterday from my cousin, Denise. She had created it, along with all the cards she sends out each year. It is beautifully rendered; no doubt took lots of time, and shows careful attention to detail. That handmade card is a gift of love—and a genuine expression of Denise. My friend, Isie, brought a Christmas blend of coffee beans, and a small pumpkin pie that she had made. Delicious! I, too, prefer to give gifts of food throughout the year—usually in the form of soup, since that's my specialty. Finding what works for you, what comes from your heart, is an honest way of honoring the season of giving.
What we're truly celebrating at Christmas is the gift of light; the light of Emanuel, “God with us.” Whatever best expresses that inner reality is the right gift to give.
In the Spirit,