My husband has found the answer to receiving gifts that have to be returned or re-gifted in the future to other unsuspecting friends or family. This week, he came home with a big box and told me that it was my Christmas gift to him. I just needed to reimburse him the money spent, and we are square for Christmas. No way I can get it wrong this year!
And while, I am glad that I do not have to shop for him this year, I was also somewhat disappointed. Yet, over the 15 Christmas holidays that we have spent together, I must admit that I have done some poor gift giving, and he is just trying to avoid the “drama” that I can dish out when he is not excited about my gift (Admittedly, he can buy his own socks!).
Now for me, I expect him to know me well enough to know what I want or need (Please, no more gloves! Only got two hands!). The commercials on television where the wife or husband gets a new Lexus or BMW tells me that there are people who know each other well or who love each other so much, that they always know the perfect gift to give, for there is never any pouting, sulking, or bursting in tears in those ads. That’s what I want, because the media tells me that if I don’t receive exactly what I want, then you don’t love me enough to be psychic in this regard.
But, the reality is that God did not give us humans the ability to read each other’s minds, and good, honest communication between spouses, friends, and family members seems to be going by the wayside. Just look at people in restaurants, even family members are not talking to each other, as they look at their phones the whole time they are there. I think, “What a sadness!” But, I guess you could send them a text with gift ideas.
As a culture, we have constructed the Christmas holiday as a day to surprise the people we love, but when you see the LONG lines of people returning gifts the day after Christmas, you realize that we are not good at this surprise thing. What is even more ironic is that the first gift to the world that ushered in the holiday was not a surprise package, for His birth had been prophecised for hundreds of years before He came into the world.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Hundreds of years later, according to the stories told in Luke 1 and Matthew 1, God sent angels, particularly Gabriel, an angel who stood in the very presence of God, to Mary and Joseph, as well as to Zechariah, to tell them what was about to happen, how it would happen, and what their parts were
There were no surprises, except maybe Mary finding out she was chosen to carry the Savior of the world, but even them, she embraced the idea, and said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” God did not leave the most important gift the world would ever receive as a guessing game. Instead, He laid the foundation and then communicated it.
Today, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus, let us not be silent with each other, but let us communicate our hopes, dreams, wishes, and wants with the people who love us and want to make us happy. But, even more, do not keep silent this Christmas in praising God the Father for the gift of Jesus Christ. We can take some cues from the Psalms 96 and 98, where everything in nature, including human beings, are also told to praise God for Jesus Christ.
Psalm 96: 11-13 states, “Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.
Psalm 98: 7-9 reiterates, “Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.”
Don’t keep silent this Christmas! Tell them what you want, and let’s make December 26 a day of reminiscing about the glory of God, not a day to stand in lines with other people asking, “What’s wrong with them?”