We only know how to receive. With lines at stores being measured in the miles and tempers in nanometers, I have to ask the question: why do we do it? Why do we always seem to be so stressed this time of year? It’s the holidays, a time to celebrate, be joyful and enjoy the company of our families and loved ones, but instead we see depression, rage and a startling increase in suicides. Yes, I went there, but we as a society don’t have to each year. Once again, I’m led back to the question of why and can only think of one answer. It’s because we’ve lost the meaning of giving.

Waiting in line for the perfect gift

We will forgo countless hours of sleep on Thanksgiving and Black Friday just so we can secure our place in line and that perfect gift for our loved ones. While this sounds great on the surface, all the sacrifice, care and time spent, we need to probe our reasoning a little deeper. If we were truly trying to get the perfect gift to express our love for and appreciation of others, would you hear stories of murders and rampages that seem to break out each year? There’s obviously something more going on.

Tempers flare

Why are so many people so edgy this time of year? What happened to Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year,” you know describing this as the best part of the year? Instead, well, I’m sure you have stories of your own of people (maybe even yourself, not that I’d dare suggest that) snapping and doing something they’d rather take back. However, it seems rampant. What gives?

Why do we give?

Well, the short of it is that we give to show others we care. However, if that were true then I’d still be stuck here thinking about what to blog. You may disagree, but what I see is that we give so we can be on the other end of that perfect gift. In other words, we give to receive. We get irate when the potential glory gained by giving that gift is thwarted by the enemy nabbing the last item that we had so needed to complete our shopping list. We defend our honor as people try to invade our territory in the land of Best Giverdom. We take our frustrations and unmet expectations out on others because our gift giving ability we have taken on as a part of our identity and the thought of it being stripped away is simply too much to bear, so we fight with everything we have physically, emotionally and mentally to keep it intact. It’s war. However, the enemy is not our own twisted idea of giving, but those who stand in its way.

This is ridiculous

Jesus didn’t have a Christmas list and no one experienced road rage, yet the gifts given on the first Christmas were meaningful and from the heart. No one was shot or stabbed because the last jar of myrrh had been sold. No one stood in line at midnight on Black Friday to get the designer scent of frankincense. It was peaceful and unassuming, fit for a King. The wisemen were giving gifts of significant value because they got it. If we got it as well, would there be road rage in parking lots, depression, murder and the you-name-it we see today? On second thought, the world might just stop turning and hundreds of thousands of children might go disappointed on Christmas day. Sarcasm aside, wouldn’t it truly be a wonderful time of year if we started working on the fact that we only know how to receive?