Monday, December 17, 2012

Giving Used to Be Simple

This is Monday, but in place of my normal "Manic Monday" posts I am partnering with Compassion International's #ItsAboutGiving blog campaign. Hope you enjoy!

Glue sticks. Construction paper. Glitter. Cotton balls. Pine cones. Magic markers. Pipe cleaners.

These were the tools of making the best gifts as a child. Simple. Cheap. Made with love.

I vividly remember creating Santa's beard out of cotton balls by gluing them onto a paper plate. His eyes, nose, and mouth I carefully drew on the plate with magic markers. Then I painstakingly cut his hat out of red construction paper, using caution to make it just so. To finish, more cotton balls were glued to his hat to make Santa more festive.

Giving as a child was simple and sweet. The gifts were made with care out of ordinary, every day items. There was no stressing out or worrying whether mom or dad would like the gift. Gift giving was easy because each gift was made with love and given joyfully. Mom and dad would accept the gift with tears and treasure it forever, saving it long after the cotton balls had yellowed and the glue stopped sticking.

Gift giving today has become much more difficult. There's the constant stress over who to buy for, what to buy or make, how much to spend. The list of who to buy for seems to get longer each year as families grow and we make new friends. The items to buy changes from toys to games to clothes to electronics. To make things easier, the thought of buying gift cards crosses the mind, but quickly disappears as Christmas is supposed to be personal not impersonal.

What happened to the simplicity of gift giving? What happened to giving a gift that will be treasured long after it's been given?

The greatest gift of all came in the form of a baby. Born in a barn, surrounded by dirt and filth, God gave us His son - Jesus. In turn, Jesus gives each of us the gift of life, of grace and mercy, of love. Simple yet profound. Incredingly meaningful. Gifts that last all of eternity.

This Christmas, let's bring back the simplicity of giving gifts.

Will you consider giving a gift that is simple yet meaningful, one that will be treasured for a lifetime? Check out the Compassion gift catalog and consider giving the gift of food, water, or medical care.

What will you do this year to make gift giving simple yet meaningful?

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