What is enough and what is too much as we give gifts to family and friends? Google Christmas giving and you’ll find both extremes from going giftless to the most extravagant gifts money can buy. Footsteps in Eden Reflexology has shared links in its recent weekly emails to websites featuring the topic of giving — even that “giving is healthy for the giver.” Connie’s essential oil post this month, “Gracious Giving,” helps us focus on gratitude, and giving out of love — even as a response to the love God bestows on us.
My thoughts are wandering to the 3 Wise Men. Their gifts were very practical and very extravagant. They knew they were traveling to visit a very special King. They came searching and brought their best.
GOLD. Can you imagine the expenses Jesus’ family would encounter first traveling to Bethlehem, then on to Egypt? Joseph may or may not have been able to find work in this locations, and certainly not during the travel time.
FRANKINCENSE. Did you know the ancient Egyptians considered frankincense the cure all for everything from head to toe? Another extravagant gift, this one to assist in keeping Jesus’ family healthy.
MYRRH. Ahh… Myrrh with its mentally and spiritually elevating benefits, is also great for stretch marks. Mary, no doubt, appreciated that. Also, as she used it, Jesus snuggled close to his mother would have found comfort in the fragrance. Offered to Him on the cross, the emotional bond the aroma created would have brought him great comfort.
Gifts — extravagant gifts — were present at the first Christmas. They were well thought out treasures for Jesus’ family and brought, I believe, much joy to the magi in presenting them.
And that’s what it’s all about. Sharing of ourselves and our treasures from a joyful heart full of gratitude with those in need and with those of our families and friendship circles.
Happy Gift Giving Season!!!
Note: I personally believe that there are times when we are called to give to others in need even out of our own need. But, also, I believe a word of caution is important here: Whatever you give to those in need and gifts purchased for family and friends, please make a budget and avoid the costly and stressful credit card trap.