Tis’ the season to shop till you drop! It’s also the season to drop all your hard earned cash, drop the bomb that your kid is not getting another ridiculously overpriced gadget, and dropping your exhausted, broke and lifeless body in your bed in hopes of a silent night.
Yes, the gift giving season can be stressful for multiple reasons. For the corporate folks it’s the fast approaching deadlines for year end performance evals and the reset of the annual budget. For others, it’s the details of travel planning and the endless efforts involved in hosting the holiday gathering. For some it’s the sadness of remembering a lost loved one and having an empty seat in the gift giving circle. For many, it’s the pressure of finding the perfect gift for the special people in our life.
As a recovering perfectionist, I can relate to being caught up in this task. I know I’m not alone because of the sheer amount of marketing that is put behind this mission. Headlines that read “Find the Perfect Gift” and “Get Your Perfect Gift Here” infiltrate our media and store front signs.
Did you know there’s even a QUIZ you can take to help pick the perfect gift for someone? I have to say, the results are somewhat impressive.
The most common mistake we make when picking out gifts for others, is picking out something that WE like, instead of positioning ourself as the recipient and considering if it is their taste. We give gifts that we want to receive and gifts we want to give!
Often we ask, “What would you like for your Birthday?” or “What would you like for Christmas?” only to respond with “I don’t want to get you THAT!” We could eliminate the pressure of getting the “wrong” gift, if we just listened and respected the wants of others. It’s easy for the human in us to show our selfishness and make a gift more about ourselves than for the recipient. It can be challenging to find the perfect balance of happiness and satisfaction between the giver and the receiver.
Have you ever bought a gift you picked out for someone else and kept it for yourself? I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of this and I bet you have to!
Most of us can also admit that the best gifts in life cannot be bought with money, though we still stress about spending and spend due to stressing. Even though most of our shopping is probably done (or hopefully almost done!) let’s take a moment to wrap our minds around the traits of a perfect gift.
Characteristics of the Perfect Gift
- Perfect gifts are from the heart, not the wallet.
- Perfect gifts are selfless and have no personal expectations.
- Perfect gifts aren’t always what we want to give, but what others want to receive.
- Perfect gifts do not come from a place of stress.
- Perfect gifts do not require perfect timing.
I’ve learned that perfect gifts are often irreplaceable, like the gift of time, and all of the afternoons I spent with my Grandpa.
I’ve learned sometimes the perfect gift comes from hard work, like the gift of accomplishment, and crossing the finish line of Ironman 70.3.
I’ve learned the perfect gift often seems out of reach, until another person goes in on it with you. For me that’s been the gift of marriage, and having a husband who gets up at 3am, travels 2 flights with you, and then drives 6 hours in the worst anticipated snow storm of the decade, without a second thought or complaint, just to make sure you make it home to see your family for Christmas.
I’ve learned sometimes the perfect gift doesn’t stay wrapped and has be taped back together several times, like the gift of self acceptance.
I’ve learned sometimes it can be impossible to thank those who paid the price of a perfect gift, like the gift of freedom in the USA.
This year I received a gift I want to share with as many people as possible. It’s a gift I’m confident all who are willing to receive with open arms will love. It’s the gift of relationship and realization. Relationship with Jesus and realization of life everlasting.
If you’re still stressing over what gift to give, remember, each of us has already been gifted with God’s greatest gift, His promise of eternal life for those who obey and follow Him.
Sometimes we receive a gift and don’t feel like we deserve it. Sometimes we don’t feel worthy of the price we know someone paid, like the gift of life, paid for by death. This week, let us celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His perfect love for us.
I pray peace and love to every reader and breadcrumb traveler this Christmas. I pray for the gift of perfect words, in hopes they will be the perfect gift to others.