It's a real gift to be able to celebrate with others!
Yesterday some friends got together for a girlfriend's birthday. We ate lunch and laughed and talked through what's going on in life. But the highlight of the gathering wasn't the meal (though it was delicious! Cafe' Bella anyone?) It wasn't the carrot cake (though it disappeared fast). It wasn't the connection (though I don't want to go through life without it!) The absolute best part was watching this friend open her gift. Now, she's not a superficial person...at all. However, there's this collectable that she's super fond of. So we pooled our money together and found her something we knew she would love.
We were not disappointed.
I love it when people don't try to act too cool to celebrate!! You know the ones! They squeal with delight and laugh out loud. They're not worried about whether anyone will think they're going overboard. They are in the moment. They live out loud!! I'm not usually like that. A sincere smile and warm thanks is my usual response. You know the old legalistic school where receiving with too much enthusiasm somehow makes you selfish or materialistic? Graduated with honors. But I'm working on it.
The beauty of giving is watching joy wash across someone's face like lightning.
Don't you think that God gets giddy about giving to us? Making that sunset that's purple-ly orange. Dropping that especially funny phrase from our child's lips at just the right time? The love of family. The grace of Christ.
So... do you enjoy receiving gifts as much as giving? Do you hold back your enthusiasm and play it cool at Christmas? Do you get embarrassed? How do you express it to the One who gives so much?