Is It About Giving or Getting?

January Newsletter, 2019  Rick McPherson

“So, what ‘cha get for Christmas?” asked the nosey neighbor kid. 

“Ah…stuff…ya’ know…underwear and a dorky shirt and a gift card from a friend in Florida,” was the answer.

Across the land, the gifts, the wrappings, the music, the parties, the shopping, the trips and the headaches have all come and gone.  All that’s left are the memories and maybe some fruitcake.   Why is there always one piece of fruitcake left on the platter?  Maybe it’s the seed for next year’s offering.  Nonetheless, Christmas and all that it means, is over for another year.  Or is it?

I’ve been thinking about that question, “What did you get for Christmas?”  I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What did you give for Christmas?”  Is it about giving or getting?   Does anyone keep score?  Is there a big tally board in the sky, somewhere?  Is it a good, better or best Christmas if you get more than you give?  Does anyone really love to give anymore?  Like, you can’t wait for the person to open their gift that you’re giving because you’re so excited you can’t stand it?  Does that ever happen?  Does giving trump getting?  Depends.  Depends, on your heart.  One wise man said, “Guard your heart, out of it come the issues of life.”

The tradition of giving at Christmas is not original with Charles Dickens.  The act of giving is love that desires to express itself in a tangible and physical way.  “Here, this is for you!  I was thinking of you and wanted to get this for you.  I love you!  I hope you like it.”  It’s all about “you” not “me.” 

What caused the three wise men from the East to bring gifts to the baby Jesus on that first Christmas program, I mean night?  They wanted to give something of value because of Who He was.  Gold, frankincense and myrrh seemed appropriate for a King.  We’ve been giving gifts ever since.  But, when you think of it, they were simply mimicking what the King’s Father had already done. “He loved someone (us) so much that He gave His only Son to us.  He promised that anyone who believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.”  All because He loved us and gave His gift to us.  The greatest gift, ever!  The greatest love the world has ever known was an action, not an emotion. 

When I think about last week’s trip to the Quinault Reservation with toys and gifts for Native American children at Christmas, I’m reminded of how good it feels to give and how good it feels to love.  Loving is giving, right?  You can give without loving but you can’t love without giving.  Thanks to people like you and others who gave through the Les Schwab Tire Centers and TV12 Toy Drive, many Native children had a very merry Christmas!  You can see the big smile on my face and my newest helper, Ted E. Baer, as we packed the truck for the trip. “We” agree that giving is what Christmas is really all about!  And you friend are a big part of our giving!  Thank you!