WHAT IS A GIFT?
The dictionary defines a ‘gift’ as “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance.”
Without payment in return…as in freely given with no demands. Hopes and expectations that the gift be used and enjoyed, yes, but no strings attached. (Please leave all yo-yo and guitar jokes alone.)
We are coming upon the holiday when it is most common, indeed expected, to bestow gifts upon others. But they are not always without strings, are they? Sometimes we give gifts remembering the quality/quantity of the gift the other person gave us last year. Sometimes we give a gift because we feel it is an obliga-tion. Sometimes we give a gift because we are hoping for a reaction which benefits us. These are not gifts then.
A gift is indeed freely given. It may be quirky, or functional, or even extravagant, but it is given out of love, with the recipient in mind, and without payment in return. Perhaps there are positive expectations that the gift will be used often and wisely, or used to make a positive difference in someone’s life, but it is not given with conditions that seek to belittle the recipient or benefit the giver.
This December 25, we again celebrate the gift that God gave us…his Son and our Savior. Let us be blessed by God’s unconditional love and everlasting gift.