PLYMOUTH, MI – It’s about this time of year that I begin to get a bit anxious and experience a constant gnawing in my subconscious self. Some might describe this as “being on edge.” There seems to be this ominous gray cloud of concern and worry that envelops my soul and takes control of my emotions. With each passing day it grows more prominent and debilitating. Like the first tell-tale signs of the flu, bit by bit it wedges its way into my personal space until it has affected, or should I say, infected the whole of my being. What could cause such an abrupt and decided change in one’s psyche? I don’t know about you but for me it is the Christmas season, and the ever pressing need to buy that special gift for my wife.
From the past experiences of 45 Christmases, I can tell you that if I mess up and don’t get it right, then there is a distinct possibility that jingle bells will not be ringing in my house for this season and possibly the rest of the year. I have learned that listening carefully during the weeks and months leading up to Christmas and proper planning go a long way to make my life “merry and bright.” To neglect doing so has, on a few occasions, produced a long cold winter.
Buying something for my wife has been a learning process and I have discovered that “most” women are very similar in their likes and dislikes. Now, of course, there may be that rare occasion where one will deviate from the flock so don’t hold this as absolute truth.
Here is a very short list of gift buying guidelines for your sweetheart.
Never buy your wife something that plugs in and takes effort to use. (Unless she specifically requests it!) Electric cords can be easily formed into a hangman’s noose that could be used to greatly reduce the flow of oxygen to one’s brain. And according to some, I can’t afford to lose one more neuro cell.
Never buy her underwear or lingerie. What you like and what she will wear are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and could force her back into that fleece sweat suit or nightgown that looks like the dogs have fought over it. (But it’s comfortable!) Besides, just going into Victoria’s Secret can give a man a severe rash or worse. I always feel like I am doing something wrong when I go in there. (Editor’s note: You probably are)
Never buy clothes. You will inevitably buy the wrong size. If it’s too small, she will say, “What in the world are you thinking, I haven’t been that size in 10 years. Or if it’s too big. “Well, just how big do you think I am, mister?”
Never buy her jewelry. What you can afford and what she wants is not even on the same planet. (In later years I have learned there are exceptions to this rule. Big is always better.)
Never buy her an annual membership to Planet Fitness. (I don’t care what she said, this could get your eyeballs scratched out.)
All kidding aside guys, what you purchase for the most important person in your life has little to do with cost, and a great deal to do with care. She wants to know that you see her for the whole person she is, and that you have thoughtfully considered her emotional, spiritual, and physical needs in your gift giving.
For some of you, a handwritten letter that expresses your true feelings about her would be treasured more than the jewels of the Royal Family. The gifts that I have given and received that are most treasured, could not be considered to possess much intrinsic value. Real, true Christmas gift giving must be from the heart and not just based on monetary worth.
When our Heavenly Father gave us His Only Son, the spirit and standard of giving was established. The gift of Jesus truly meets the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of our lives. And though trite as it might sound, without Him there would be no giving of gifts, or for that matter, Christmas. So, before you rush out on that gift buying adventure, take time to prayerfully consider to whom the gift shall be given and follow our Father’s example. It is His Gift that we celebrate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board.