I started playing the comparison game.
How much would so-and-so be spending? Will this present delight or disappoint? Does the scope and grandeur of my gift rise above the unspoken bar of expectations?
I was caught in an anxious guessing game of how others would analyze the price of the present as an interpretation of the value of the relationship.
This is wrong. I know it. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Christmas is not about keeping up with the Jones's or finding the best holiday discounts. It's not even about buying the perfect present to satisfy someone's needs or wish-list of wants.
The perfect present has already been bought. God gave us his perfect son. Jesus bought us the gift of a restored relationship with God by paying the penalty of our sins through his death on the cross.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16CHRISTmas is about remembering that God loved us so much that he sent his his son to earth and Christ loved us so much that he lived a perfect life and then died, that we, too, might live.
So what about all this gift giving?
When I regained focus, I remembered that Christmas is an opportunity to share God's love with the family and friends he's blessed us with by giving out of the resources he's provided.
When I regained focus, I realized that I can honor God best by being responsible with my finances, buying only what we can afford, and by being joyous in my spirit, giving generously out of love not out of fear of being judged.
I wish I never let my eyes drift from the One who matters most.
But I'm thankful that when I do, he's always there to meet my refocused gaze.
Does your vision ever get blurry this time of year? How do you stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas?