Angela at Tracing Rainbows has published her first Pause in Advent posts, with the title Finding the Perfect Gift. I am piggy-backing on her post!
The holiday shopping season has started with bigger sales and discounts being offered early because, we are told, Thanksgiving (celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November) came so late this year that there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas! Which means, there is less time to find that perfect gift! Black Friday sales have been brisk, apparently, and there is Cyber Monday still to come!
I like to give gifts to my family and friends. But, I have a budget and a lot of my gifts are homemade or bought on sale. Finding any gift on a budget is not that easy, never mind about finding the perfect gift! While I am of the opinion that it is the thought that counts, over the years, I've learned that not everyone thinks that way! For a lot of people, finding that perfect gift is important.
I don't know who is responsible for this need to find the perfect gift or why we feel we need to spend a lot of money to obtain it. However, I think the Three Wise Men have a lot to answer for, with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh! They raised the bar rather high, with their gifts, didn't they? Those were not inexpensive or homemade gifts, were they? They could have brought loaves of bread, jars of oil, or a woven carpet, but, instead, they brought lavish gifts, the very best of what they could give, to show honor to the recipient of their gifts, the child they've come so far to see. And, by doing so, they showed what a gift should be - the best of what there is to give. I think that is why we feel the need to find the perfect gift.
I, for one, don't think I can come close to their gifts with my jars of homemade jam or patchwork quilts or knitted hats that I will be giving, this holiday season, at Christmas to my Christian relatives and friends and on New Year to my Buddhist relatives and friends. But, I do hope that the love, thoughts, and effort I put into them will elevate my own, humble gifts to the level of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They may not be lavish gifts, but they will be gifts from the heart, and that, I hope, will make them all the perfect gift.