Thursday, November 20, 2014

Intentional Gift Giving


We live in a world that is constantly feeding us…we need bigger, better, newer, and we  shouldn’t deprive ourself of anything.  It’s easy to get sucked in.  I’m a victim of it too.  However, my husband and I knew when we had kids we didn’t want to teach or reinforce what our culture was saying.  We knew it would be an uphill battle.  We knew we would be going against the grain.  But we had prayed about it and knew that God was leading us to make intentional choices that would be the best for our family.  These choices were what was going to be best for us.  But sometimes when you make choices like that, others see it as if we are trying to say everyone should do what we are doing.  But that was, and is, never the case.  Each family is entitled to their own traditions and should be free to make that decision themselves; not someone else pressuring them to do it.
For us, that decision meant that we weren’t going to do Santa in our home.  What, no Santa?  Yes that’s right.  We made this choice over 10 years ago and I’m still amazed at people’s reactions when I tell them we don’t do Santa.  Some are horrified, some are dumbfounded, some are confused and others are supportive.  For us, Santa took away from the real meaning of Christmas, which is Jesus’s birth.  We wanted Christmas to be about Jesus and no one else.
Both my husband and I grew up getting presents from Santa.  Santa was always a fun thing, but it overshadowed Jesus’ birthday for me.  I also was so sad when I found out there was no Santa.  For some people, they thought we would be taking away the magical and fun part of Christmas for our kids.  Our kids still know about Santa, we’ve read stories about him and they’ve seen movies with Santa.  But for us, we have been intentional about coming up with new traditions for our kids that are Christ-focused, still with plenty fun!
One of our new traditions came in the way of gift-giving. So, I thought I would share with you, what we do…
We give only 3 gifts, yes, only 3.
The gifts are based off of what the wise men brought Jesus…gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Gold is a precious metal and the wise men brought gold to Jesus because he is so precious to us, as the Savior of the world. A “gold gift” would be something precious to the person receiving it. In other words, something special the person wants. It can really be anything! 

 is an incense that was burned and symbolically represents prayers going up to God. This gift represents something to enhance a person’s Spiritual life. It can be a Bible, devotional, book, CD, journal, etc. Last year, I got my man tickets to a conference where his favorite Christian author, John Eldredge, spoke at. Not only was it a great spiritual gift for him, but I got to enjoy it too!

Myrrh was used to embalm a dead body…seems a bit weird to bring to little Jesus, but it was symbolizing what was to come, Jesus dying on the cross. This gift represents something for the body. It can be clothes, shoes, a scarf, lotion, jewelry, etc. 

On Christmas morning, my husband reads the Christmas story out of the gospel of Luke, so that we can remember why we celebrate Christmas and the 3 gifts that the wise men brought Jesus.

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