One of my favorite things to do is to gift someone I love with something I know they’ll love:
Surcies, little love gifts, the value of which is seeded in the thoughtfulness of the gift, not its pricetag. It’s why giving a giftcard or cash is s o v e r y h a r d; for me, gift-giving is an intimate, personal expression of my relationship with the recipient and not just anything will do. Overall, gift giving is the least of my love languages because if you don’t give to me (or I don’t give to you) it doesn’t mean I’ll feel unloved or I don’t care or love you; in my crazy head, Nothing itself is better than a hollow something (am I even making sense??).
One of my least favorite things to do is to give out of obligation or because a day on the calendar mandates it.
This is the part of the Christmas season I struggle with, excess to those who don’t need a thing and a culture that shouts bigger is better and more is never enough. Even in Christian circles, lovies.
I admire those who are smart enough, crazy enough, restrained enough or counter-culture enough to disassociate gift-giving with Christmas within their family, and instead give to those who have materially little to nothing.
I do hope you hear me: I’m not saying that Christmas gift-giving to family and friends is bad or wrong; but based on the time invested in shopping and the amount of money spent from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, sometimes our focus is skewed. Again, even in Christian circles.
It’s simple and yet so complicated. We give because God gave.
Thinking on Jesus’ humble, magnificent, unimaginably difficult, astonishing birth stills my soul’s thrashing during the Christmas Season and helps me to align giving with joy–
In the gift of Christ’s life, we can know God intimately and personally (John 14: 6-7). In Him, we receive forgiveness and redemption (Ephesians 1:7-10) and every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). And in Christ, we receive salvation and eternal life (John 3:16-17).
When giving is initiated and motivated by love for God, it changes everything.
I suppose that’s why handmades, homemades and re-mades are my favorite–they’re birthed in and from thought, intention, time…and love.
Anything your two little hands produce for me, I will love and appreciate beyond expressable words. And another, perhaps less-often-thought-of item that falls into this category is what I call re-mades; think re-gifting but instead of something given to you that you don’t care for, it’s something you already own that means a lot to you; when you gift it, you’re in essence giving a tiny piece of your heart. For example, my friend Amy collects camels; when we were saying our good-byes prior to my out-of-state move, she gave me a tiny one from her collection as a remembrance. Another dear friend, Erin, knew I collected elephants and gave me a small one of hers for the same reason. Book re-mades are among the best, especially when it contains personal notes in the margins. Anyone who reads one of my marked up books no longer wonders what I’m really thinking.
Gifts from your hands and heart is a small way of giving yourself as a gift.
Please join us this month in sharing your stories and ideas for handmades, homemades and remades ~
- Have you posted a tutorial about how to make a meaningful craft or DIY project others might enjoy giving to others?
- Do you have a time-treasured recipe for special seasonal treats others are begging for each year?
- Would you be willing to share a story (in comments or by linking a new or old blog post) about a special gift you’ve given or received?
As I’m writing this post, it’s surprising to me to realize how often I’ve written about special gifts–the wonderful idea I had for my husband’s 40th birthday, the last gift from my father (though we didn’t realize it would be at the time)…and a lavish, desperately-needed gift from God.
PLEASE share your stories and ideas. I’ll leave the linky thingamajig open til Christmas Eve, and if you don’t have a blog, please share in the comments. The recipe I’m linking is from my mother-in-law: homemade butter mints are fancy, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth sugared art.
With joy by Robin Dance