Gift Giving 101

My wife has been educating me over the years. It seems I’m deficient on some things such as gift giving. Last week she gave me another lesson.“You don’t give someone a gift only when they deserve it,” she explained. “You give a gift to be gracious and to show that you are gracious. It’s more about the giver than the receiver.” “Oh, I didn’t know that.” I said. I thought if someone was an onerous old coot you just ignored them but my wife said that I had to give him a Christmas gift.“Something he could use,” she suggested.“Oh…” I said feeling caught.“What?” she looked at the old vise-grip tool in my hand. “Does that rusty old thing even work anymore?”“Oh, yeah,” I stammered. “Sort of. Besides I don’t need it now that I have my new one”“Put some thought into it.” She sternly suggested. “It should be something he might need and could really use. It shouldn’t be any old junk you want to get rid of.”I started to walk away and she added. “And you can’t just leave it on the steps in front of his house like you did for my mother. You have to talk to him and present him with your gift face to face.” “But that’s my way,” I insisted as I turned around.“But your way is wrong, you need to change.” She said.
“Okay, I’ll knock on the door and hand it to the old grouch.” I submitted.“Yes, but first you need to wrap it or at least put it in a nice gift bag with decorative tissue paper on top.” My lovely wife insisted.“Why?” I asked. “It’s not like he cares about how the outside looks. Isn’t that just sending him a mixed signal? We’re supposed to care about what’s on the inside of people not the outside, so I’m just getting right to the point.”“No.”“Okay. I have those Sunday comics lying around; I’ll wrap it in that.” I countered.“No…it has to be something festive that ties in with the occasion. You’ll have to go buy something nice to wrap it in. Not newspaper.”“Even if it’s the comics?” I tried to counter.
“No. And you need to use some nice, clear tape on it, just a few pieces. You can’t use masking tape or gobs of duct tape on it like you do with my gifts.”“I thought you enjoyed my wrapping talents.” I tried to make a point. “Laughing at someone isn’t the same as enjoying someone.” My wife said. “Besides I think it’s time you learned a little bit more about etiquette; After all you’re in your 60’s now.”“All right. So, I’ll go buy the undeserving, cranky, old coot his gift, and some nice wrapping paper, and wrap it up without using duct tape or masking tape this time, and knock on the door and hand it to him.” I said grumpily. “Anything else, Miss Manners?”“Yes. Use a nice label so that there’s no misunderstanding that the gift is to him from you. And maybe you should get him a card, too and write something nice that you appreciate about him. And finally…”“Oh, my goodness!” I growled.“Put a ribbon and a bow on it for a final touch.” My wife’s face lit up. “It’ll look so nice and I’m sure he will appreciate the thought.”“Ha.” I said. “He’ll call me a sucker when he closes the door.”“A gift given freely from a pure heart is never given in vain. This is the proper way to give a gift.”“Do you know how much all of this is going to cost me? Not to mention the time to go buy something then more time for me to drive over there and drop it off.” I persisted. “And what if he invites me in or something? It will take all morning.”“A proper gift is not given without some sacrifice.” My wife countered. “If it costs you nothing to give then it’s not really a gift.”“Where did you learn all this?” I asked. “Don’t you read your Bible?” My wife asked me. “It’s all in there.”So I thought about it and I realized she was right. But don’t tell her I said that.You see God knew that we were in need and He promised mankind a Gift right after Adam and Eve sinned. He reminded His people over the years that He would be giving us His Gift, not because we deserved it but because the Lord is a gracious, forgiving, loving God. He told us He would come to us with His Gift. And that the Gift is for each of us, from the Lord Himself.God’s perfect Gift wasn’t just dropped off carelessly. When the Gift came it was announced by an angel. He was lovingly and tenderly wrapped in swaddling clothes by His young mother. The Gift cost God His only Son, and He suffered immensely finally giving His very life. Even though He is rejected by many, those that receive Him receive Eternal Life.And now that I think of it, I’m beginning to see just how this gift giving business works. But I better take ol’ what’s his name his gift before I forget.Luke 2.8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” NLT

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