With Christmas just around the corner, the thoughts of gifts fill my head. And not just gifts for myself, though that certainly is fun to ponder. Most of my time is spent thinking of the perfect gift to give to others. Some people are givers. Gifts are really important to them. They speak volumes about the giver and about the recipient. I am a gift-person. I am a giver. I love to give. I love to receive. Gifts speak volumes to me. And as such, gift certificates also speak volumes. To me, most of the time (though not always), they speak of someone who didn't want to take the time to think about the recipient, who they are and what they like. They speak of laziness. If you would ask me what I would like for a gift, a gift certificate will never be mentioned. I love a well-thought out gift. I love to take the time to think about the recipient, who he/she is, what they like to do, what is important to them, and buy or make a gift appropriately. When someone's whole Christmas list is gift certificates from this, that or the other place, what the person is really saying is that what you would buy for me will never measure up so don't bother trying. Words like that to someone who loves to give are painful words. Words of death. Sometimes I think my attitude towards Christ could be the same when he sends "gifts" my way. "No thanks, that's not really what I need. I would much rather pick my own, thank you very much!" Lord, help my attitude to be one of gratitude and thankfulness, even if the gifts I receive are not always what I wanted.
Now, there are times a gift certificate would certainly get me what I wanted. Some gifts I have received make me wonder about the giver. What possessed them to buy that?! But, think about it from the other person's perspective. Life is not all about you! Christmas is not all about you. Allow your friends and family the pleasure of choosing something just for you. Don't rob them of the joy that comes from giving. Do I buy gift certificates? Sometimes I do. And I think through the location very carefully. I am not opposed to them all the time. Last year, as a thank you gift, the ladies of my MOPS group bought me a gift certificate for a pedicure at the luxurious Ten Spa in Winnipeg. I was absolutely thrilled. I have never had a pedicure. Nope, not once in my life have I had a pedicure. That will be remedied this summer, thanks to the gift certificate. And they knew I never had one. And they knew I would never go to that spa on my own. So, that was a well-thought out gift. It was supposed to be used while I was pregnant but the time flew by and the spa had water damage and now I will wait until summer when I can show off my toes! I am so glad God thought through his gift to us, knowing what we needed and putting his all into giving his very best, his only Son. Now, as I head down to sew up a storm of gifts I am hoping the recipients will love, I will leave you with this blog that I just discovered. I have only glimpsed at a few of the entries but I know I will visit often. Maybe it will help each one of us in the art of gifting.