The holiday season marked by the holiday we call CHRISTMAS (and which bears the pagan name of YULE) is a season traditionally celebrated by a LARGE AMOUNT of gift-giving.
With that in mind, we now present a few observations on the time-honored tradition of holiday gift-giving.
1- The gift-giving mania is often ascribed to the Bible’s account of the wise men of the East bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
“And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
BUT, the present-day season of gift-giving is largely a season of WORLDLY gifts.
And yes, gold, frankincense and myrrh were worldly gifts–BUT those worldly gifts had the effect of providing for the family of Jesus as they sojourned in Egypt, waiting out Herod’s reign of terror in Judea.
2- The gifts given during this YEARLY, holiday gift-giving free-for-all are almost ALL items of a worldly nature. The companies who make these products spend HEAVILY on advertising to promote their products as worthy gifts.
3- WORLDLY gift-giving appears to have attracted its fair share of WORLDLY defenders. This is a sign of the last days. NOT the gift-giving itself, but the many worldly defenders of the practice.
- In defense of materialism: Why shopping and holiday gift-giving is my love language
- The Psychology of Gift-Giving
- Gift giving: Is it really the thought that counts? Psychologists weigh in.
- What It Really Means To Have Gifts As Your Love Language
- Is Gift Giving a Bad Idea?
4- At one time, giving a person a gift required the giver to put in a LOT of thought as to what constituted the PERFECT gift for the person receiving the gift.
Modern gift-giving, however, seems to consist of buying something–ANYTHING–to fulfill the obligation one feels for crossing another name off of one’s holiday gift list.
And so, modern gift-giving seems to have slowly deteriorated from finding a gift which is an EXPRESSION of one’s feelings into a DUTY to be fulfilled before one can take a much-needed holiday rest.
5- Whereas there USED to be real joy of the giver at seeing the very pleased reaction of one who received the a gift (which obviously had MUCH thought invested in it), there can be NO great satisfaction from a hastily-considered gift.
6- There are some gift-givers who associate what the presents are wrapped in with the gift itself.
Perhaps the reader knows of someone like this?
Ribbons, bows, wrapping paper–even the gift tags announcing who the present is meant for–all receive SPECIAL ATTENTION from these folks.
And, these folks are not just about the gifts they are giving: many of the same people save the wrapping paper and ribbons and bows THEIR gifts arrived in (some to be recycled and used at a later date, but some not).
7- About 20 years ago–at a large shopping mall in Texas–a scene was witnessed which may perfectly sum up many modern’s approach to holiday gift-giving.
An obviously-busy woman was shopping for the ones who made her gift list. The woman happened upon a mall kiosk which featured crafts which were unique and well-suited for holiday gifts. After spending a few moments at a nearby bench with paper and pen in hand, the woman approached the kiosk and ordered DOZENS of the craft items. The order was quite LARGE.
After purchasing the items and having them delivered (via of boxes on a dolly) to her car, the woman remarked–more than once–“There! I’ve got all of my Christmas shopping done! And everyone will love their gift!”
The woman ALSO expressed satisfaction at finding a ‘one-stop’ location where ALL of her holiday gift-giving could be accomplished so quickly and efficiently.
The woman seemed MORE relieved at finishing her shopping with several weeks yet until Christmas Day than she was pleased that her gift-giving would be uniquely suited to EACH person receiving her gift.
The woman’s reaction may just be the PERFECT summation of modern gift-giving.
DOES the reader get caught up in the holiday gift-giving?
DOES the reader feel “extreme concern” until EVERYONE’s gift is bought and wrapped?
It is not YET too late: there is still a little time to change direction (repent), place your faith (hope) for the future entirely on Jesus Christ and enter the kingdom of heaven.
DOES the reader believe he is saved?
DOES the reader believe he is NOT saved?
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
[Portions of this piece appeared originally in End Times Prophecy Headlines: December 27, 2021.]
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by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier
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