Thanks to Derek Mansker for his post: No gifts will be returned in this house.. He discusses why it’s important for his children (and others) to learn to be grateful for what they get instead of trading it in for money or something else they like better after Christmas is over. Stop on over and read the rest. Leave a comment if you like.
That’s nice, but I want. . .
I appreciate Derek’s post very much because it is something I see so often in our world today. The store is busier after Christmas than before. Why? Because people are returning all those gifts they received for cash or in exchange for something else they wanted and didn’t get.
I have to get what I want
Why do people do this? Do they not recognize that the giver thought long and hard about the gift before giving it? So what if it isn’t exactly what you wanted? Why do we disrepect the giver by returning the gifts?
Why it matters
Every year, I usually fight depression as the Christmas season approaches. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is fear that I won’t be able to buy the right gifts and make everyone happy. This is my issue, for sure, but the issue has been fed by others who did not accept gifts graciously. As a child, I often thought my parents would ‘know’ what I wanted. They often didn’t, but I still appreciated the thought they put into their selections. Another person in my life has a hard time receiving gifts from others. This person likes to be the giver. One year I spent quite a bit of time and money planning the perfect gift. His reception was less than stellar, and I ended up in tears. This person has since tried to undo what was done, but the damage was deep.
Returns tell the tale
Most people at least fake that they like the gift, but the number of returns after Christmas tells a tale. Many of us have lists of what we’d like to have for gifts. We don’t leave it up to chance because we want what we want. How selfish and self-serving is that? No wonder Christmas has become so commercial and often cold.
Rejecting the best gift
More than 2000 years ago, God gave mankind a gift in the form of a baby, our Savior, Christ the Lord. That gift would stay on earth for 33 years, teaching and showing Himself as fully God and fully man. Then, he gave the ultimate sacrifice: His life. He was crucified, and all our sin was laid on Him. He rose from the dead to complete the gift: salvation for anyone who would accept it. This gift was given out of a love so deep we couldn’t possibly fathom it. It was thought out, planned and executed with us in mind. God knew we could not work out our own salvation, so He worked it out for us and handed it to us, anticipating our delight in accepting this best gift ever.
That’s nice, but I want. . .
And how many said, no thank you to this gift? Some rejected it outright. Others tried to say, I’ll take it, but I have to do something to get it. But God knows exactly what it feels like to offer the perfect gift and have it thrown back at Him.
Have you rejected a gift by returning it for what you ‘really’ wanted?
Has someone else rejected a gift you gave and hurt your feelings?
How can we teach our children to appreciate the gifts they are given when we return our own gifts?
Do you feel that returning gifts is fine, or do you see it as a sign of ungratefulness in our society?
What about God’s gift? Did you remember to honor the best Gift ever on Christmas Day, or did you snub your nose at Him and celebrate yourself or your family or something else in stead?