Not all gifts are appreciated or well received. Some things people call gifts really aren’t gifts at all. We had a neighbor’s dog leave a “gift” in our front yard once. I promptly returned it to that neighbor. The flu is not a gift but every year at this time there are people who think it is, and insist on giving it to those around them. They cavalierly march around telling everyone within earshot how they have a 115 degree temp, puked up a fleet of Mac trucks the last 5 days, but they were committed enough to make it to your Christmas party. Gee thanks a bunch. Memo to those people… stay away! Take your deviled eggs and go home. We don’t want your illness or gift.
Some gifts never seem to go away. They just come back around again. For years, my brothers had a box of tuna helper that got passed around as a house warming gift each time one of us would move. A pretty extravagant gift for a bachelor. After the infamous hamburger helper incident of 1975 however, we were all afraid to eat it. Be aware, the gifts that you give an elderly person could very well be gifted back to you at a not so distant date. I have a very nice sweater I gifted my dad before he passed. I’m thankful for my good taste.
The people pleasers will ask you what you want before they give you a gift. You have to be careful with this ploy. I once made the mistake of telling my wife that I needed a T shirt. Her OCD side kicked in and I ended up with T shirts in every color the manufacturer ever made. That was when Clinton was in office. I’m wearing the last of the batch as I’m writing this.
Expecting a gift is poor sportsmanship and results in a 25 yard penalty. So how bad is it if you got a subscription to Jelly of the Month? Expecting can be the ugly cousin of contentment. Is it really that important? Can you remember what you got last year or the year before? It’s really the gesture that’s important, right?
Somehow I don’t think that all those Black Friday purchases are meant as gifts for someone else. I often hear people admit they gave themselves a gift. If you believe what the commercials tell you, you deserve it. It doesn’t take much convincing. I have to admit I like to give myself gifts although mine usually come in the form of a psychological pick me up, not a new Lexus. I once left a “gift” in the form of a dead cockroach on the time clock for the day crew just prior to their shift ending. A good many of the girls decided to work overtime that day. It sure lifted my spirits.
The irony of Black Friday is when people behave like sub species less than 24 hours after Thanksgiving, for bargains that will ultimately wind up in a thrift store or landfill. The ducks at the lake behave with more civility when I feed them. In the words of the great philosopher Rodney King “Why can’t we all just get along.” We can’t get thru one day dedicated to giving thanks before we are strategizing our need to get more. Thank you Lord for all our blessings. Now either get out of my way, or help me load these super plasma LED giant 250 inch bad boys in my cart or else. After all, the tv’s I currently have, are only 240 inch. I know the Lord wants me to have the latest and greatest. Why else would I have noticed the sale?
As a believer, we always have something to look forward to. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 We have so many gifts to be thankful for, it’s impossible to list them all. I dare you to try. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 Some gifts are absolutely priceless. You won’t find those at some Black Friday sale. We just tend to take them for granted. Take a few of those gifts away and your whole world can be turned upside down. I saw a sign on a neighbors porch the other day. It read: Thankful, Grateful, Blessed. I had to wonder if they would still display such a sign if they were in a homeless shelter, hospital or had recently spent time at a funeral home. Were they thankful and grateful only because they thought they were blessed?
Occasionally we get a gift that we really needed that we had no idea we needed until we got it. We stopped at the grocery store today after therapy. Currently, I am struggling to learn to walk on my own again. I had a brief encounter with someone named Marie in the store. She was maneuvering through the jammed aisles, pulling a grocery cart with one hand and pushing an oversized special needs wheelchair with the other. She was doing it all with a smile on her face. Her grown, cerebral palsy daughter had a big smile on her face and was thrilled to be out. That made Marie happy. No matter how difficult the circumstances, Marie found a reason to be joyful. She wished me a blessed day as she went on her way. That my friends just might help answer the age old question of “why does God let bad things happen to good people?” You see every now and then we all need an example to help fine tune our perspective.
We really are grateful to my brother for all his help. I know he’s helping because he wants to. That makes it a true gift. Perhaps, some day I can repay him, though I know he’s not expecting that. Even if it will be just a box of tuna helper.