A Christian Gift Exchange

Replace The Stealing With Meaningful Giving

I am not sure how it started, but somewhere over the years someone came up with an idea for a "Christmas" gift exchange. It involves folks pooling their gifts they would like to give. By random, someone goes first and selects a gift. Then a second person by random does the same - but the deal changes. The second person has the option of stealing the first person's gift, and giving their unwanted gift to the person they stole from.

Lydia and Sam Macinta
At a family gathering, Lydia Macinta (on left, standing) chose to use a gift exchange that did not involve stealing. Standing next to her is her husband, Sam.

This process continues with others randomly selecting a gift and then having the option of stealing a previous gift. Finally, the first person gets an opportunity to steal.

You can tell me this is all in fun, but I will tell you great damage is done, especially if children are present. What are you really teaching the children?

Would you believe a group of Assembly of God ministers did this years back? I foolishly participated, and now I am very sorry I did.

I have seen other Christian or "Christian" folk do this, and cringe, especially when children participated.

But thank God for Christians that show forth the true meaning of Christmas and want to be different!

Some years back, my wife's side of the family got together for their annual "Family Gathering" around Christmas time. Our family was in charge for that year and Dorcas, my wife, asked our daughter-in-law, Lydia, to do the gift exchange. Let me tell you, it was the best ever, and we are proud of her.

As I recall, someone was chosen by random to pick out a gift. The person went to the table, selected a gift and was asked to open it, look at it, and think of someone present they would want to give that gift to. They then walked over to that person and gave them that gift.

Then either that person, or another person by random, went to the table and did the same. This was wonderful, because it was something Jesus would do.

But, there is a little more to this story. Lydia was sick that morning and others thought she might not be able to do the exchange. They started to think they had to go back to the old way. I could not believe they thought it was so very hard to follow through with the very simple, but godly plan, that Lydia had thought of. It saddened me greatly that they were ready to resort to the stealing mode.

But, I, and I am sure others, prayed. Lydia received the strength from the Lord she needed, and the wonderful exchange took place.

People enjoyed this Christian gift exchange
People enjoyed this Christian gift exchange.
If you are shopping on line at places like eBay or Amazon, please do so through my daughter-in-law's web site. Her husband is in college training to be a nurse and they need the finances at this time. Thank you.

More people should follow her example.

So, I challenge Christians to have a Christian Christmas, to do things Jesus Himself would do, like give and not steal. I thank God for the strength He gave Lydia, and I thank Lydia for rising above her illness that morning, being different, and having some real Christmas giving.

With Christ's love,
Dad Macinta

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