Friday, December 02, 2011

Re-Gifting at Christmas - Derksen

Christmas treasures surround me as I listen to Holiday favorites on my IPAD. My ITunes library consists of songs that depict an old fashioned Christmas, one that acknowledged the Reason for the season, as if it was as natural as breathing to remember that Jesus Christ’s birthday is the only reason.

Today, retailers try to have us believe that it’s all about gifts. Many struggle financially to provide yet another toy for an overindulged child and I’m not just talking about kids here. Children and grown-ups alike seem to soak up the things that the retail stores offer…whether they can afford them or not. I wonder how many of us overtax our credit cards for stuff that has no durable meaning.

Our pastor spoke on Sunday about re-gifting. The term may be new but the idea has been around for a long time. If we were to look around our homes and offices, how many items could we find that had seen little use. What about that set of towels that we purchased on sale but don’t fit our d├ęcor any more or that IPOD gathering dust because we now have a IPAD. Maybe there are some tools or kitchen utensils that we use so seldom that they still have their original shine on them.

I’ll bet we can all think of someone who needs these things a lot more than we do and would appreciate the thoughtfulness of such a gift. Re-gifting is taking something that we have used little and wrapping it for someone who has a great need for it. There’s a show on television about hoarding. The pack rats each week are encouraged to throw away stuff that clutters up their life so much they have to make a pathway to walk through their homes. Why not re-gift?

I think there’s a little pack rat in all of us. When it comes to technology, I sit back and wonder how my life would be different with it since I don’t miss it…ever…before I have it. And yet, my technologically sound children share the possibilities and so I drool. Really! It’s the same with other must haves that commercials display. Life would be so much easier, we think, so we buy. Then we truck perfectly good, hardly used stuff to thrift shops because we never needed them in the first place. Why not re-gift?

I found out last night that, in our small town, there are people who live homeless. Kids abandoned by parents who’ve decided they are old enough…still in high school…to be on their own because Momma has a new boyfriend and wants to move in with him. There are people who are overwhelmed with overdue bills so have nothing left to pay the rent. There are some who jump from one friend’s couch to another because they have no one to care for them…at this time of year. Christmas for them is just same old, same old, in the hunt for a roof over their heads. Is there something you have that you could gift them with? Sometimes the people caring for the homeless could use an extra casserole or a loaf of bread.

Let’s open our eyes this Christmas and while we are reminding everyone who the season represents, let’s look for ways to recycle the clutter in our homes into the hands of someone who desperately needs that towel or that extra toothbrush. Look for ways to bring a little joy into the eyes of a homeless teenager who might just amount to something…given half the chance.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Barbara-Ann, thanks for this timely focus and clear challenge.
Our young pastor's ministry focus fits this too. "Love God, and love people," he says, "and find practical ways of doing that. It's not that difficult."

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