A different kind of holiday gift guide:

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There is a lot to think about when it comes to gifts this time of year. Some of it is logistical, figuring out what to give people, figuring out who is exchanging gifts and who isn’t, figuring out what you can afford to do financially. But I want us to put the logistical questions aside for a second and really think about gift giving as a whole.

As we get older we begin to see Christmas for what it is really worth. We start to see it as a celebration of our Saviors birth, a celebration that we get to enjoy with our loved ones. We see it as a time of merriment that is about more than just gifts, but that doesn’t mean the gifts stop being an important part of the season. We know that, because in America holiday spending alone is used to determine the state of our economy. People spend more money during the holiday season than any other time of year. We sink billions and billions into this time of year. Clearly the gifts have become important, whether they were meant to be or not.

If we’re spending that kind of money on gifts for this short holiday season I think it makes sense to take a really good look at what gift giving means to us. So I’m going to pose a few question:

  • If you were to give gifts and not receive any in return would you be okay with that?
  • If someone went out of their way to make you feel special, would that be enough of a gift for you?
  • Do you have a set number of gifts you want to give your children or loved ones? Why did you set it?
  • If someone were to give to a charity in your name would you be happier than if you received a gift yourself?
  • Would you opt to give a gift instead of a charitable donation because your afraid it wouldn’t be received well?

  • Do you every find yourself comparing your gifts with another persons, whether it is the gift you gave or the gift you received?
  • If you received a gift that you didn’t like would you be disappointed? Or happy that someone took time and effort to give you something at all?
  • Do you look down on homemade gifts because their ‘quality’ or hold them above store bought ones because of the love that went into it?
  • Do you find yourself comparing the number of gifts you got with the number of gifts others got? Or the number you got with the number you gave?

Now lets be honest, did you hesitate on any of these questions because you logically know the right answer and could get there quickly, but have had moments were you answered the question wrong? There was a few that made me stop, and I hate that, but that’s what growing up in a world were gift giving is framed as one of the most important parts of the holidays will do to you.

It’s also why I decided to write these questions down instead of doing a gift guide.

Because we know what Christmas is about, but we find ourselves distracted anyways. It doesn’t mean that gifts can’t be a wonderful part of the celebration. Giving people things and watching their faces light up is a wonderful and loving thing. It’s great to shower the people with gifts. Gift giving is a love language after all, I’m not throwing that aside. I’m simply saying that we need to be honest in our gift giving and we need to watch ourselves so we keep our heads in the right space. It’s supposed to be about love, nothing else and nothing more.

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