Is there such a thing as a perfect gift? If it is, what could we imagine? If you receive costly items such as jewelry, luxury assets, precious properties, or some monetary items, would you think these can be the perfect gift you receive?
Can these things make you perfectly happy and satisfied? Perhaps they do to some extent. That is why people are busy and happy with shopping and wrapping such items in the Christmas season. We have the right to enjoy these material things.
As we all know, however, such material happiness is short-lived, temporary, and imperfect. Sooner or later, we get used to it. And whether we like it or not, we could face a new appetite, which stimulates us to gain another batch of upcoming materialistic obsession. Our desire is endless.
We work hard to be happy with our possessions. It is a mechanism to drive our economy. We strive hard for our consumption to seek what we believe as our perfect gifts imperfectly. That is one of the crucial motives to move our civilizations forward. And because of this, we have now experienced unprecedented prosperity. We can appreciate this achievement. But of course, it is not the end of the story.
What is a perfect gift?
What makes our gifts “perfect” is not the material aspect alone. While we could be happy in receiving the expensive, precious gifts, what makes us genuinely joyful is moreover the act of giving and receiving the gifts.
That is why sending greeting cards can be more touching than any gifts. Or, attaching the greeting message makes them more valuable and more precious. Reading or writing the simple greeting words makes us joyful with the sense of each other’s connectedness.
Imagine how you would feel if you know someone remembers you and gives you the kind words that he or she is taking care of you or feeling grateful about you, and you can do the same with others. That should be the real value of a gift to make it perfect. What makes our gifts perfect is not only the content but the act of exchanging them with a sense of mutual caring.
We don’t live in this world alone. The family is the core unit of our relationship that we are not alone at all. The tribal and organizational community could be the next, and the larger scales should be as well. Through exchanging one another’s gifts, we can restore the very joyfulness derived from our sense of connectedness.
Gifts are not for satisfying our material desire. Perhaps, they are so to some extent. But, they are more for reminding and restoring the very core of our connectedness. The truth is that we are not alone at all in this world. What makes our gifts perfect is not the content, but the act of our exchanging them and knowing who does so for you and for whom you do so as well.
Who sent you the gift? Have you read the message from the sender? What did you feel about that? Did you sense you are connected with him or her and the community at large? Whom did you send the gift? Have you written your message for him or her? And what did you feel in doing so? Did you sense you are connected with him or her and the community at large?
Now, we know the genuine value of our exchanging gifts. Knowing this, is there anyone whom we could call the ultimate gift sender? Of course, we know Santa Claus for children. He is not precisely the mythical figure like dragons and the like. However, I feel he is quite “archetypal” to remind us of what the perfect gifts should mean.
In one way or another, unconsciously, even collectively, children all over the world have their experience with this fairytale figure. They know that there is a fatherly saint who always remembers you and takes care of the gift for you. What is the reason this person prepares and delivers the gift for you? Kids can know the reason instinctively. It is because he loves you.
Even for this purpose alone, the Christmas practice of giving and receiving gifts should be meaningful. It could be good preparation for us to understand the meaning of genuine, perfect gifts from our childhood by heart.
Where does the gift for you come from? Like Sant Claus, we know it is from the person who loves you, and ultimately it is from above. And we are ready for the verse like this:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.James 1:17
What is a perfect gift?
Once we know the genuine value of giving and receiving gifts, we can answer this question. The truth is every gift is perfect if and when we know it is for someone you care about and from someone you care as well.
Have you received a gift from above? Every gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights. If you can say, “yes, I have,” then your entire life is the perfect gift for you as He cares you and loves you. And the ultimate gift is His begotten Son for everlasting life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16
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