Tag Archives: presents

Gifting

So it’s December 29th, time for true confessions.  How many of your gifts did you return or exchange?  Did any gift make it to the re-gift closet?  You know the obscure gift that you can’t return because there is no telling where it came from; probably a re-giftJ.

Let’s just establish that re-gifting is perfectly acceptable.  Why waste a perfectly good item just because it’s not useful to you?  You have to be careful though, to re-gift to the original giver of the gift can be disastrous!  Not to mention embarrassing for both.  Here are a few thoughts on re-gifting.  When you place the item in the re-gift closet put a post-it on it with who gave it to you and when.  Additionally, don’t break the seal or “factory” wrapping.  Before re-gifting, be sure to dust it off well and be sure there aren’t remnants of wrapping paper or a card stuck to it.gifts

I did not receive anything that needed returning or exchanging this year.  What is really great is that those who gave me gifts did so based on what they know and love about me.  This to me is the number one rule in choosing a gift – know your recipient.  There is as much excitement in choosing the perfect gift for someone as there is in receiving the perfect gift.  While I don’t mind when someone gives me ideas, it is also a blast to choose something that I know the recipient will love, but may not have thought to ask for it.

Many of us have everything we need.  When we have the opportunity to choose gifts for those we love, why not take a few minutes to really think about the other person.  What could you give them that they would enjoy and might not otherwise buy for themselves?  The gifts I received this year were all very thoughtful; obviously those giving me gifts thought about me and what I would like.

The art of gift giving is one that I think is fading to that which is easy – the gift card.  The gift card is good because you are thinking about the other person, but we have to be careful to not let this be our default.  Take some time.  Make your gift meaningful.

The art of packaging or wrapping gifts went down a slippery slope with the advent of the gift bag.  For some, the gift bag was their salvation and a relief in the pressure of giving a gift.  My mother makes wrapping a gift and the bow on top an art form.  She pulls the color-coordinated ribbon around the package and then ties a big pretty bow on top.  Then she spends a few more minutes making small adjustments to the bow to be sure it’s perfect.  No doubt a beautiful package shows the recipient that love and care was taken not only in choosing the gift but in preparing it for giving.

In full disclosure, I did purchase a couple of gift cards this year because I didn’t plan well and ran out of time.  This just gives me a head start on these two gifts for next year.

Happy gift-giving,

KK

Santa Claus – The Man the Legend…

The Legend of St. Nicholas
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. (ref. http://www.history.com)

Throughout the years and across cultures, St. Nicholas has taken on new looks. After the American Revolution, the term Santa Claus was adopted by Americans from the Dutch. Artists and poets began to paint the picture of a jolly giving man with a red suit.

My favorite image of Santa is the praying Santa. This for me encompasses the truth and the fantasy we find at Christmas. Please praying santaunderstand that the MOST important reason for any celebration at Christmas is the miraculous birth of the Lord; that being made the priority, consider how Santa can fold into this time and celebration.

As stated above, the man of Saint Nicholas was a faithful, giving man who looked out for “the least of these.” He gave up his wealth in caring for others. Sounds like characteristics he modeled from Christ.

As far as allowing our children to believe in the “jolly elf” who comes down the chimney, ask yourself this: in our world there is so much joy-robbing, negative, fast-paced, cynical information and attitudes why not allow our children the magic and fun of Santa Claus coming to bring gifts? We allow our children to have imaginary friends and pretend tea parties; why not allow them to enjoy the fun of Santa? As our children mature they outgrow those wonders of childhood anyway. With the right guidance there will be the appropriate shift from the fantasy of Santa to the forgiveness of Christ.

I do believe in all that Saint Nicholas lived for and the Savior he followed. I have learned to manage the hustle and bustle of this season to make room to remember the wonder of Christ’s birth; to truly take in the profoundness of His birth that set motion a new destiny for eternity.

Think about it,
KK