Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Gift of Love

If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift,
give love away.

God gave us His Son on the first Christmas - His love wrapped up in swaddling clothes.  Jesus was not born with riches, but instead born in a stable, born for those in poverty to lift them up, us up. 

"Christ found no room in the Holy of Holies that shone with gold, precious stones, pure silk and silver. He is not born in the midst of gold and riches, but in the midst of dung, in a stable where our sins were filthier than the dung. He is born on a dunghill in order to lift up those who come from it: 'From the dunghill he lifts up the poor' (Ps 113:7)" (Jerome, On the Nativity of the Lord, ACCSNT 3:39).

With so many unemployed, with too many financial obligations, this Christmas will be meager for many.  Just today, I heard from three women whose husbands' had lost their job.  I was thinking that I will not have another Christmas again, feeling sorry for myself until I heard their stories.  Two have young children.  Their social ranking does not encourage gift "donations", and their pride probably wouldn't accept it.  Yet, they are in need.

My sister recently shared her motherly advice with me.  I cannot quote her verbatim, but the idea is "It is better to give then receive, for in giving, you feel more contentment, more peace."  It doesn't have to be new or tangible gifts.  Gifts from the heart - helping someone with a project, making homemade gifts, sharing time with someone who is lonely, ... - are the most loved gifts.  For those that have, look around you, see who needs, and be Santa.  No one sees him, but he comes.  The children would just think that the door was locked, the chimney had a bird's nest, or a fire was burning in the fireplace, but Santa didn't forget them.  He just had to leave the gifts at the door.  And for the parents, they will not have to be humbled, but will rejoice that God does really care.  He sends angels!

Money Savings Tip

In the next couple weeks, I will give ideas to save money at Christmas, and give ideas for homemade gifts.

Christmas wrapping is an added expense to Christmas.  One way to save money is to make gift tags out of Christmas cards.  When I was young, my mom would sit with us, and make tags.  We would cut pretty pictures from the cards, in different shapes, ovals, circles, or around the edges.  Then we would cut construction paper to match the cards we just cut, put a punch in both, and tie a bow around them to hold them together.  It was fun, and it saved money.  Every year I save my Christmas cards with the hope of making tags for the following year.

Another idea is to use paper bags.  You can decorate them with glitter and cut-outs made from cookie cutters or traced from a book, or put a fancy bow on them.  You can cut them so you can wrap the gift, or just use it as a gift bag. Use your imagination and create.  If it's pretty, they may even save it to put a gift in next Christmas.


I thought it would be fun to give a cookie recipe in each of my posts before Christmas.  Some of the recipes I have posted before, but many will be new.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 egg

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
Chocolate Kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat above ingredients until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately put on chocolate Kiss in center of each cookie. Makes about 18 cookies.
Aunt Janet

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