Black Friday

Ever since I discovered it’s more fun to give than to receive, my hallowed gift-buying frenzy begins the day after Thanksgiving. A couple things happen. First, I make lists —typical for Type A’s. It’s a scrupulous inventory of everyone needing gifts. Then I flounder as my undeveloped creative Type B mind tries to think of something remotely unique to give.

Even though all the family adults have agreed to curtail gift exchanges, my sister artfully suggested we exchange “token” gifts—something that she utterly excels in. Her “token” gifts are exceedingly clever, highly creative, and make me look pitifully weak in comparison. I’m sure this makes her feel even better. We’re sisters, after all.

Black Friday’s here and I’m wondering how I can make the list in my hand transfer into gifts that mean something. That’s always the rub. You see, my sister has this knack of finding just what someone needs, something they aren’t expecting, haven’t asked for, and are totally surprised and delighted when they open it.

I, on the other hand, have mastered the art of gift cards. Pathetic really. So I sit and ponder yet another season of gift-giving possibilities. I want this year to be different, because I sense things are changing. As festive as each store tries to become, as many lights as I see strung from trees and buildings, there is an undercurrent of uncertainty that’s hard to ignore.

Some feel it worse than others. Lost jobs. Higher costs. People have less confidence the future will be better. And we’re hearing that it’ll get worse soon. But this is supposed to be the season of hope. And it is. We choose to set aside the concerns and celebrate the love. I honor a baby born two millennia ago. It was a birth that changed everything for me~~especially how I feel about what's happening now and what'll happen in the future.

So as I look at my list, I know that much of what’s ahead for this world is not in my control, it’s in His. That’s a very good thing and something certainly worth celebrating. So the gifts I give are not as important as knowing that God has already given me and everyone else the best gift of all.

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