Christmas Gifts

Posted by donna on December 1, 2015

Capture.PNGMatthew 2:11 “The Magi ... on coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

To rephrase Shakespeare, “To give or not to give, that is the question."

It is Christmas time. The retailers have one thing in mind and that is "buy our gifts for those you love, or don't love ... just buy, buy, buy!”

My family is devoted to Christmas. We love the season and the reason. We are united in everything but one issue. The one yearly tension is ... should we buy gifts?  If so, for whom and how much should we spend? How does all this gift buying promote Kingdom values? Good questions.

Christmas for our family can be complex.  Our immediate family is made up of twelve adults and eleven grandchildren. There are 8000 kilometres of geography between us and we range in age from one to ninety-one. Often, unexpected guests will show up, which is always a delightful surprise. Relationships are paramount and we gather together in one place, sometimes, for days on end.

There was a time when our living room could compete with a small department store. Packages strewn about, literally mountains of them. Slowly, this began to get under control.  This year the discussion is, "let's do a few stocking stuffers and buy a goat for Samaritan's Purse." In my mind, that may be taking things a little too far! Everyone seems to be in agreement, except me. I consider myself of worth in the family if only as "Pater genitor." Yet, my voice is small in the on-line chatter during this discussion on Christmas gift giving!

I grew up in the country as an immigrant and in the early days we were quite poor. Yet, I was as excited as any boy would be to see gifts with my name on the tag.  Often, the anticipation far outweighed the reality but I wouldn't have changed that for anything. Somebody who loved me took the time to make or buy me a gift.

My devotion to gifts, extravagant or delicious is also based upon biblical evidence. My conclusions on the above text are suspect I know, but the Magi did not hold back during that first Christmas gift exchange. They went to great lengths, likely travelling up to one year to present their gifts to Jesus. They gave the costliest of gifts because they were giving to the King. They held nothing back. Granted, it was for Jesus, the King of Kings and I lose the parallel there for sure. This event is what has historically spurred people to exchange gifts. I will hold tightly to this tradition and this honourable symbolic custom.

God gave His very best to us at Christmas and that is the real reason behind the tradition of exchanging gifts.

Now, compromise is the name of the game in large well adjusted families. So, I say, splurge this year, generously show our love and yes ...  let’s buy a whole herd of goats!

Merry Christmas,


Willem Fietje

Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous pour la version Française; Du pupitre du Président Déc 2015