We’ve done it both ways in our family. When it comes to Christmas and gift giving what is the best method to handle the task of making sure everyone feels the love? In the “something for everyone” method, each person prepares a gift for all of the other individuals in the family. Usually one’s budgeted money is spread across the clan. Each person then has several smallish gifts to open on Christmas morning and each one shares a little love with each other person in the family.
In the “Something for Someone” method, also known as the “Name Draw” method, each person is assigned one special person as a recipient of a gift. It’s typical for a dollar amount to be assigned, like a $50 gift. With this method, there is more of a focus on trying to understand an individual, listening for new likes, hobbies, or interests, and investing great effort in trying to find the exact right item to wrap and place beneath the tree. There is also the greater expectation that whomever has your name will be looking to get you the perfect gift.
Both methods can be effective, if the goal is to ensure that everyone gets a gift. Both methods require time, energy, and (probably) money. Both methods involve an act of giving and an act of receiving. Which method is the most Christ-like?
In some ways this is an unfair question, as Jesus has abundant and never-ending resources. And we can’t forget that when Jesus was physically on the planet there was no such holiday as Christmas. We can however, look at what the Bible teaches us about giving. Christ calls us to give with no expectation of receiving gifts in return, Luke 6:34-35. Christ models generosity in his healing, patience with the religious elite, and grace for those in bondage. He gives to many. Yet, he focuses on what individuals need. Peter urges Christ-followers to recognize their gifts and then use them to help others, I Peter 4:10.
I’m considering this year that Christ calls me to give of myself generously. Many may benefit from small acts of giving. Or, perhaps, I can notice where a focused gift might meet a specific and deep need for an individual. This Christmas I plan to have a generous spirit toward everyone and look for unique ways to give intentionally to a someone, or maybe a few someones.