One of my favorite things to do is to gift someone I love with something I know they'll love:

Surcieslittle love gifts, the value of which is seeded in the thoughtfulness of the gift, not its pricetag.  It's why giving a giftcard or cash is  s o  v e r y  h a r d; for me, gift-giving is an intimate, personal expression of my relationship with the recipient and not just anything will do.  Overall, gift giving is the least of my love languages because if you don't give to me (or I don't give to you) it doesn't mean I'll feel unloved or I don't care or love you; in my crazy head, Nothing itself is better than a hollow something (am I even making sense??).

One of my least favorite things to do is to give out of obligation or because a day on the calendar mandates it.

This is the part of the Christmas season I struggle with, excess to those who don't need a thing and a culture that shouts bigger is better and more is never enough.  Even in Christian circles, lovies.

I admire those who are smart enough, crazy enough, restrained enough or counter-culture enough to disassociate gift-giving with Christmas within their family, and instead give to those who have materially little to nothing.
I do hope you hear me:  I'm not saying that Christmas gift-giving to family and friends is bad or wrong; but based on the time invested in shopping and the amount of money spent from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, sometimes our focus is skewed.  Again, even in Christian circles.

It's simple and yet so complicated.  We give because God gave.

Thinking on Jesus' humble, magnificent, unimaginably difficult, astonishing birth stills my soul's thrashing during the Christmas Season and helps me to align giving with joy–


Please, please, please continue reading Giving Yourself Away at incourage today; I've asked you to share a piece of yourself (but you'll have to read to understand that fully).  


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