Oh my -- I have been indeed humbled to do better. Your thought....
"Ultimately, even souring Christmas experiences can become a tiny taste of
what our Savior has endured following his atoning sacrifice for each of
us...." really hit my heart. I hope I can do much better in the days to
come. Thank you for putting it so beautifully. Wonderful article, because I
too have felt these feelings -- of the needy getting much more than my own kids
had for Christmas -- or someone was ungrateful for something I had done. Thank you for reminding me that it is for me -- and not the receiver --
Several years ago, we decided - as much as possible, that we would make our
Christmas gifts. My wife and I became more concerned as gifts seemed to
gravitate more towards cheep items from large box stores that may have been
brightly colored and alluring with battery powered action, but then was often
broken and useless before New Year's.I was surprised at how
well the kids took to the notion - as well as our immediate relatives. The kids
get a gleam in their eyes as they imagine the wondrous things that is within
their skill level to make for others in the family and you might be surprised as
to what things they come up with and which are useful and more endearing than a
simple sale item snatched up during a rush to get that last gift or two.There is still potential to lose sight of the true meaning, but as we
create our gifts, it is easier to focus on the real intent of the season.
I enjoy the Christmas carols, the Christmas story, the encouragement to be a
little better and remember what Jesus Christ did for the world. But I do not
like gift giving at all. I know the tradition came from the wise men story in
the Bible, but it seems to infuse materialism to those of us who think of this
as a religious holiday, and for those who like the cultural tradition of
Christmas, looking for gifts all the time becomes the whole focus, when getting
together with family and friends ought to take priority. It is not the money I
begrudge, it is the focus on buying. Sadly, we live in a very materialistic
society. It seems to come to a head at Christmastime for me. I've been
involved in sub-for-santas where the people resented what was given and wanted
something better. We laugh at "ugly sweaters" that someone might have
spent hours making. Black Fridays are so important, as are after Christmas
sales. Bah humbug! For me Christmas shouldn't be all about stuff.
Thank you so much for this thoughtful article. We've had the exact same
thing happen in our ward and it can be difficult to for the givers to overcome.
You describe it perfectly and bring home the realization that giving is more for
the giver than the receiver.
I think it's interesting when the giver doesn't have their
expectations met. We perceive a family to be in need. That may be true but stuff
doesn't always help. We do the same in natural disasters. We bring tons of
waters and clothing down to a tornado ravaged town. Where are they going to put
all the stuff? The lost their homes. The city has water after a certain point.
First ask what is needed.