No Gifting This Year

Posted: December 9, 2011 in Christmas, holiday
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I will not be gifting anyone this year.

Then again, I have never gifted anyone.

I give gifts. So does everyone else who understands the whole concept of what a gift really is.

We have developed into a culture that feels the need to abbreviate everything. We don’t write letters. We email, Twitter, or text. We ask questions like How r u? We don’t laugh. We LOL or LMAO or ROFL. And even people who don’t believe in God will toss out OMGs like beads at a Mardi Gras parade.

And we don’t give gifts. We gift people. Or worse, we regift people.

What? You don’t know what regifting is? Well here’s the definition from Wikipedia (that’s easier than using a real reference source like a dictionary): “Regifting or regiving is the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else, sometimes in the guise of a new gift.” In other words, wrapping up that hand painted tie with the glow-in-the-dark hula girl on it, or the ugly ceramic whatever-it-is, and giving it to somebody else as if you actually put some thought into it.

In short, regifting is gifting with stuff you got from someone else but really don’t want.

But whether gifting or regifting, we tend to miss the point. Gifting/regifting puts all the attention on the object itself be it a new Lexus, a book, or that ugly hula girl tie.

We should be giving gifts. Sure, in our breakneck-paced world it takes an extra second to say, text, or Tweet the word, but it is in the word “giving” that the magic of the gift lies. We give gifts because it is in the giving that we show our investment in the person to whom the gift is given. It is in the giving that we put the focus on an unselfish act of love. And in this season in particular it is in the giving that we remember the gifts given by the wise men to a baby who was more than flesh and blood. More than a new life added to the world. They were gifts given to honor the one who was and is salvation incarnate. Gifts given to God in the flesh.

It is the giving that makes the gift personal. It is the thing that gives the gift meaning beyond it’s practical (or not so practical) use. It is in the giving that we give not just an object, but a bit of ourselves. It is in the giving that we join with the wise men in offering gifts of worth, offered from a place deep within ourselves.

Otherwise, we are just handing someone a thing wrapped in pretty Christmas paper.

Gifting is hip, slick, and cool. It is the new holiday buzzword for a new age. And since we seem to be stuck with the saying on the holiday (*) Starbucks cups: Let’s Merry, it’s time to take a stand before things get out of hand.

Let’s not settle for just gifting. This year, give someone a gift.


* The holiday is Christmas for those who may not be aware or who are afraid of offending those who are celebrating it under it’s generic name: “holiday.”
  1. Thanks for making me stop and think about gift and the giver. We are doing a whole lot home made gifts this year (sorry no I-phones), and there is something to it that feels better than just buying some thing. It seems God has us thinking along simalar lines today. I posted a FaceBook note today called Communication, What a Gift. Have a good day.

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