Friday, November 4, 2011


There's a really interesting conversation going on in my Selfish Knitters group on Ravelry right now. A lady posted something from her church bulletin that I'd like to re-post, if only for my own benefit:

How can we plan our Christmas gifts so they will help us to honor the Savior and feel the true spirit of Christmas? Remind your family that our gifts should reflect the same spirit of love and concern as did those of the Wise Men who presented the first gifts to the baby Jesus.
Explain that gifts will contribute to the spirit of Christmas only when they pass these three tests:
  1. Is the gift given in the spirit of love?
  2. Is it a reasonable choice and not too expensive or time consuming for the giver?
  3. Will it be ready before Christmas so that it will not take last minute preparation that should be spent on more important activities?
Your family may think of alternatives to material gifts, such as the following:
  1. Gifts of time and service. For example, one teenager wrapped a card for his sister that read, “I will take your turn doing the dishes three times when you need me.” Suggest that each person give at least one such gift of service to each family member.
  2. Gifts of ideas. For example, personal ideas, recipes, family history information, and personal histories make gifts that will be deeply appreciated.
If gifts are purchased, they should be chosen especially for the one who will receive them.
A good gift need not be expensive, but it must let the person who receives it know that he is loved.
Perhaps you should consider cutting down on your list of those to whom you give gifts. The mere exchanging of gifts does not necessarily reflect the true spirit of Christmas and may contribute to your putting material things at the center of your Christmas season rather than the Savior.

I'm not nearly as religious as I was brought up to be. A lot of what church has been to me has left a bad taste in my mouth, but I won't debate about the value of religion here. However, I think a lot of what this lady posted is completely true. We don't necessarily need to think about Jesus when we give gifts, we just need to be sure any gifts we give are given with purpose and with a person in mind.

Today I worked at the retail establishment. It's in a mall, and since the holiday season is rolling in, people have been rushing in to get something for their loved ones. I imagine this rush will increase as Christmas approaches. I run into so many people there who, I feel, need to step back from their holiday shopping list and re-evaluate for whom they're buying gifts. They're stressed out and frazzled, and I feel purchasing gifts shouldn't make you feel that way.

I'm going to make dishcloths for my family for Christmas. People like handmade things that they can use. No one has ever told me they don't want them. And as much as I whine and complain about how boring the patterns are, I'm glad to give something to people. I LOVE giving things to my husband (it's probably some sort of deep-seated psychological thing) whether it's a pair of pants or some food I've cooked or a pair of knitting needles for a project he's working on. I just like to make people happy and comfortable. And it's important to do it with a purpose and not feel stressed out about it like some people do around Christmas.

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