Jocelyn Loane shares her thoughts about gift giving at Christmas, which are likely to strike a cord with many of us. However her reflections help us consider further this centuries old tradition, and rather than feeling stressed by the expectations of others and the lure of consumerism, we are given a very positive outlook as we prepare for this festive season.
"I think as Christians, we want the focus of the Christmas season to be spiritual. We want it to be a time of appreciating the wonder of the incarnation and not fall into the trap of consumerism and the desire for material things. However so much of the lead up to Christmas can be focused on buying, making, decorating and preparing things that it feels that’s where all our energy goes. Already by mid-November I’m having conversations in the school playground about how people are going with their present buying. And they are always conversations peppered by groans! There’s a certain pressure that comes with thinking of a gift for everyone you need to buy for (and sometimes their dog!). There’s the concern we have to not contribute to plastic waste, to buy ethically made items, to not go overboard and make our children greedy and to not gift something that’s unwanted and going to be unappreciated. And even more so if your love language is gifts! It’s tempting to want to toss the whole thing in and propose a Christmas with no gifts and without all that stress, waste and consumerism."