There are a couple of Hallmark commercials that have really made me think. One has a truck that goes across the screen labeled "Traditions." The other has gifts all wrapped in red with white lettering. Each gift is labeled with the gifts we truly want to give those we love… "Joy," "Thoughtfulness," "Love," "Meaning," etc. The more I have thought about them, the more inspired I was.
Then, I heard another phrase that inspired me this week. 'Change drove into the neighborhood.' I like it. It makes change seem not so threatening. It showed change in a friendly, helpful context. It encouraged me to welcome change into my neighborhood. You know, those places in our heads and lives that get so predictable. There is something to be said for traditions – doing the same thing year after year because it is meaningful and valuable. Our family has some of those and they are good. On the other hand, I am always looking for ways to keep Christmas fresh and full of wonder, engaging and fun. One year I bought silly glasses that give the lights on the tree a 3-D effect. We laughed as much at each other as we did at the things we were looking at! We still bring them out each year but no time has been quite like that first year.
So, back to the commercial. I thought about doing the same thing with the gifts that I wrap for my family. I could wrap them all in red and label each one of them with big white letters according to what I intended to give to each one by giving that gift. There is a gift that I know will cause "Laughter" and another that may bring a couple tears that I could label, "Treasure." I'm afraid, though, that my family may think that I have taken this 'meaningful' thing one step too far. So, I think I will be a little more discreet and put it on the gift tag. I'd be intrigued to see a gift with my name on it and the word, 'Peace,' or 'Joy,' or 'Hope' or a myriad of other true gifts that we'd like to give. Just knowing that the giver intended a gift to bring me peace would make it a hundredfold more valuable.
Perhaps that is why the gift of a baby in an obscure stable over 2000 years ago still means so much to me today. I know what the Father intended the gift of His son to bring and because of that, I am still touched and grateful. As we celebrate this Christmas season, may your hearts be touched, not just by the tangible gifts you receive but by the intentions of the giver.
Giving With Intention With You,