I've read multiple blogs on the nasty consumerist nature of Christmas (a sentiment I'm in basic agreement with), and heard numerous sermons echoing that fact. There's even a movie about it. But, to be quite honest, the extremist nature of some of these messages have only left me feeling guilty. Guilt is quite different than conviction.
I enjoy giving gifts to those I love, and I don't think I'm alone on this one. So, I'm going to continue giving gifts, guilt-free.
At what point in history did Christmas giving become a quid pro quos operation? Why would I spend $30 on a gift for 'Bill' and expect him to give me a $30 gift in return? That's not a gift, that's an expectation. Pretty sure "Bill" would just assume I not give him a gift in the first place if I expect to receive a gift of equal value in return.
Scott McKnight has some really good thoughts on Christmas Gifts over at Jesus Creed. He writes, "We give worship to God at Christmas as regifting what God has given to us. We give gifts to others as regifting what God has given to us."
Merry Christmas. Enjoy time with family and loved ones and regift--guilt-free!