Thoughts on the whole Christmas gift-giving thing

It comes up every year at this time. 

The whole Christmas gift-giving thing.

Should we give gifts? If so, to whom? Friends? Co-workers? Immediate family only? Extended family too? On Christmas Eve? On Christmas Day?

I think we sometimes get so wrapped up (pun intended) in the who, what, when and how of Christmas gift-giving that we often forget the why.

It helps to remind ourselves . . .

. . . that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t in the gifts. It’s in the love those gifts represent. God’s love. We give generously because He is — always is — generous to us, beginning with the gift of His son, Jesus. His priceless gift . . . His indescribable gift . . . His gift too wonderful for words (2 Corinthians 9:15).

I’ve been in nonprofit marketing for 30-something years. (That’s as accurate as I care to be!) Most of it has been on the ministry side of ministry-agency relationships. Over the years, like so many fundraisers, I had to start working on year-end donor communications months in advance.

We’re marketers, so we need to plan ahead, of course. But by the time Christmas actually came, I would have been talking about it since August. And, I have to admit, the spirit of the season had been dulled somewhat by the business at hand. Maybe you’ve also found that an easy trap to fall into. 

But, thank goodness, the prospect of gift-giving in Jesus’ name always seemed to put me back into the right spirit. What a blessing it was to think not only about who I wanted to honor with a gift, but why. Doing so would help me refocus on the true meaning of Advent: God’s gift to the world — His son, my Lord and Savior. 

Such love. Such generosity. Christmas is a great time to meditate on both. 

Even though we’re rightly concerned about whether our work during these all-important final days of December will succeed, I’m going to do my best to keep “the reason for the season” clearly in my mind and heart. I humbly encourage you to, as well.

Then it will be a genuine blessing to give generously this year — to the causes we care about, to the home churches that nurture our faith and to the people we love.

We give because God gives. 

Bless you. And Merry Christmas.