Ronéll and Anke van Rooyen
Gifts are those lovely surprises wrapped in cheerful paper and sporting a big bright bow, or the nice and big gift bag holding the promise of a variety of goodies in one bag. There probably isn’t anyone who doesn’t like a gift, because by nature all of us are curious. However, it has been proven that gifts aren’t most people’s love language, but rather constructive words and quality time or touch, although people have more than one love language that fills your heart and makes you happy when someone speaks the language of your heart.
WHAT KIND OF GIFTS
The shops manipulate people’s minds so that you have to buy something to prove to someone that you love him or her. This is not God’s way. His way was to be love and give love. He gave his Son because He loved us. We can show our love for one another by giving many things that aren’t necessarily wrapped in bright paper. Everyone views Christmas as a time to exchange gifts, but it has become so commercial and people buy unnecessary expensive gifts and miss the true message and diminish the biggest gift, namely that God gave his Son. Is it possible to begin a new tradition by not giving any gifts on Christmas day, but to just experience God’s gifts of love, and then rather celebrate a Thank You Day to give one another something small and just say “thank you”? If we teach our children that gifts need not be expensive and bought, we teach them the value of the gift of life. By teaching them to share things and give them away, we teach them that worldly things do not have the same value as eternal things. “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy; and where thieves do not break in and steal.” This is a verse from the Bible that teaches us that things like friendship, demonstrating love, being friendly, giving our time, are worth more than wrapped gifts. Does this mean to never wrap gifts? No, not at all. It means that even when we buy something for someone, it should not be linked to a monetary value, but rather to the depth of the gift. People feel a small gift looks cheap and skimpy, so they rather give money. Why can’t we again see the heart behind the gift and value it rather than weighing it in rands and cents? A bouquet of roses from your garden, personally picked and cared for, should be of more value to someone than a bouquet of flowers from a shop.
PRACTICAL GAMES AT HOME
Make it a lifestyle to give sincerely, for example:
* Place a freshly picked rose on your wife’s or daughters’ pillow.
* Give your husband or son a piece of your chocolate and place it on their pillows.
* Take a portion of your money that would go towards the family’s Christmas gifts, and buy food and distribute it to the homeless.
* This year make smaller, cheap Christmas gifts, for example a tin of cookies, create a small painting, sew serviettes, pick flowers.
Be sincere with the gifts that you give. Start new traditions and teach your children a new song; a song that sings that love lies not in money, but in gifts from the heart. A card more than a parcel, a rose more than a shiny car, a hug more than an envelope bursting with money! Make a journey to the heart.
Chapman, G. 2010. “The 5 Love languages of teenagers.”
Hudson, C. “Understanding teenagers.”
Lucado, M. 2012. “Wild Grace.”
Fay, J. & Cline, F. 2006. “Parenting teens with love and logic.”