why do we buy gifts on christmas
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Although many people exchange or simply give gifts at Christmas time, most of us aren t really sure why we do so. Is it custom? Certainly. But it did not start with Christians or Jews for that matter. The most ancient cultures display evidence of gift giving. So no one can credit Christians with inventing the act. In our present culture when a birthday is celebrated, the gifts go to the birthday boy or girl. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Christ, the One sent by God the Father to rescue all of humanity from its worst possible fate life and eternity apart from the one true God, (who has revealed himself in the Bible as Elohim, Jehovah, Yahweh,
and) who is the Source of all that is good, right, and beautiful. This makes Christmas a birthday celebration (and no, it does not matter that historically speaking Jesus was most likely born in the spring celebrating his birth in December is a choice to remember it much like celebrating Communion is an act of remembering his death).
So why give gifts to each other instead of giving them to the birthday boy? The answer lies in the scriptures above. While there is much history behind how we arrived at exchanging gifts on Christmas day, the main reason is this: when we do so we are emulating God. God gave the world the most precious gift in the person of Jesus Christ. God The Son laid aside his glory, humbled himself to become a human baby, to be born of a woman into poverty, to live the life of a peasant, to be rejected by the very people he came to save, to die a brutal an agonizing death on a cross, and to rise again in triumph over sin and death. Jesus sole motivation in coming, dying, and rising again, was to reconcile a lost world back to God the Father through himself. We love because God first loved us. We give to each other because God gave us the best gift of all. Christmas is a season of sharing, giving, loving, and helping. Why is that? It is because at Christmas we take the time and make the effort to acknowledge our fellow man in the manner that we should all year long.
This is particularly true as it relates to the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the sick, the weak, and the disenfranchised. We give to each other and especially to those who have less, because in doing so we are not only emulating God s generosity, but we are giving to Jesus, the birthday boy. Merry Christmas Family! I was reading the book The Legend of St. Nicholas to my children the other day and it really got me thinking about the purpose of buying Christmas presents. I have to admit that I sort of hate the Christmas shopping season. People get so ugly while they are buying presents. Black Friday kicks it off with super sales everywhere and itвs a frenzy. How crazy is it that people have died from stampedes and crowds on Black Friday? What does say about our greed for stuff? We really need to re-think why we are purchasing presents for one another. In The Legend of St. Nicholas a little boy needs to do his last-minute Christmas shopping with his father. They see a man standing outside a store asking for money with a bell. His dad gives him some money and the boy thinks to himself, I should give some of my money too but I want to have money left over to buy myself something.
I feel the same way sometimes. I have been out shopping and have been swept up in the excitement of shopping and then ended up buying myself things I really didnвt need. Some questions Iвve asked myself are: Why am I buying these gifts for my friends and family? Am I doing it out of an obligation because I know they are going to purchase me something in return? Am I getting them a gift just because itвs what I think I am supposed to do? Am I trying to get them something they need or would bring them joy? The reason for giving at Christmas is an important lesson not only for adults but also for children. People give gifts at Christmas for many reasons. One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas, is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Frankincense was a perfume used in Jewish worship and, as a gift, it showed that people would worship Jesus. Other people who love and follow Jesus give gifts to remember the true Gift Jesus. Although Santa Claus and St. Nicholas have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas, many people do love the story about this man who did, in fact, give gifts to the poor and demonstrated for us a wonderful example for Christmas giving.
In the picture book The Legend of St. Nicholas, while the little boy is in the store shopping he overhears the store Santa Claus telling one of the legends of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was a man who decided to give gifts to others secretly. He had some friends who were in need so he used the chimney to deliver the toys and after seeing the joy he brought others he decided to spend the rest of his life giving to the poor. This story inspires the little boy in the book to buy his gifts for his family and for the poor. The faith of a child is so special and amazing. Children are easily inspired to give and share. Even though The Legend of St. Nicholas is written for kids, parents, donвt be surprised if it inspires you to re-think the purpose of Christmas gift giving! Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about the purpose of gift-giving especially at Christmas!
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