The Gift and the Gift Giver
I have two prized, material possessions. A stuffed dog named Muffet from my mother and my engagement-turned-wedding ring from my husband. Here's a picture of them:
House on fire, I'm grabbing these two items.
My favourite thing about gifts is not always the gift itself, it's what the gift represents or reminds me of - the giver of the gift. The Gift-Giver. Do I love things for the heck of it? Sure, I do! But at a certain point in my life, I learned to look beyond the bottle of perfume or pair of shoes or delicious food or bottle of whisky. I see that someone thought of me. Someone gave something of themselves: time, talent, money...even the now mocked thoughtsandprayers.
I think of the gift as an arrow that points away from me, from itself. Without the Giver of the Gift, there is no gift. No mommy, no Muffet. No Christopher, no (my) engagement ring. No Creator, no Christopher. No Savior, no redemption. I try to not be so taken with the thing I can see and touch that I forget its origin. That I forget that it is the giving of the thing that makes it a gift. Each gift requires an action.
When my daughter is old enough to recognize the things given to her, I want her to learn this lesson. I want her to have a healthy relationship with material things. Just like the good gifts, there are things she may be gifted that have negative feelings attached to them. That cute little teddy bear her boyfriend gives her will burn in a kindling of his little love notes if he breaks her heart. I gotchyou baby girl!
I want to teach her to thank the Gift-Giver, genuinely, for the cute outfit, a compliment, encouragement, constructive criticism, a hug, the haters/motivators, teachers and certainly those who think of and pray for her. She will, if I do a decent enough job, be a Gift-Giver.
As Christmas approaches, I hope that we will be able to look beyond the gift to see the Giver.