Buying Christmas presents is always a bit tricky, isn't it? Will they want it? Do they have it already? Can I afford it? And if Santa isn’t involved, the issue of cost is always a big one. Perhaps, some people suggest, we should give up on Christmas present giving? Wouldn't it help us concentrate on the “real spirit of Christmas”?
A small group of Christians decided to do just that and called it – unsurprisingly - “Buy Nothing Christmas”. The aim is, they say, to promote, “a Christian lifestyle richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving to people less privileged.” The main objective is to challenge over consumption and its destructive effects. If you want to find out more, you could take a look at www.buynothingchristmas.org.
I have a lot of sympathy with the ideas and aims of people who support things like “Buy Nothing Christmas” however, at the same time, it doesn't seem to fit with my gut-feeling about Christmas. The gift of Jesus is one of love without limit, love that nothing can buy. And so, to me, it seems that it's only right to give extravagantly. Maybe, we should spend more on being with people, on spending time with them, on sharing our hearts with them, than on gifts and gadgets.
This Christmas, may I encourage you to give from your heart. And I hope that you will be able to receive from God's heart of love, whose best-ever gift we celebrate at this time: Jesus, Immanuel, God is with us.
Wishing you every blessing – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Rev'd Brian Magorrian