Every year I hear people say over and over again "I don't understand why Christmas had to get so commercialized." Behind this statement is usually an implied suggestion that it's the "evil capitalists" that are to blame and that people should focus on other things during the Christmas season.
But is this true? Should we focus on other things around Christmas-time, or is there some value in the commercialization of Christmas?
If you remember the story about when Christ was incarnated in Bethlehem, you'll also remember that gifts were presented to the Christ child soon after His birth. What was the purpose of those gifts?
The gifts given to Christ were a way to signify just how important those 'wise men' considered Christ to be. They felt that this newborn baby would be the greatest of all, and they wanted to express their admiration of His mission on Earth through the giving of gifts.
Isn't that what we do when we give gifts to those around us? Aren't we also expressing just how important these people are to us by the gifts that we give?
Christmas is also one of the few times of the year when we specifically focus on the message that Christ gave the world, and the work that He did while He was here.
All through His ministry on Earth, Christ continually gave of Himself to those who needed Him. He gave the gifts of sight, sanity, health, life, and wisdom. He also received gifts of food, shelter, and clothing.
In our exchange of gifts, we honor the life that Christ lived.
The messages that Christ spoke of during His ministry centered around 2 main principles - faith and love.
We are encouraged to love everyone as we love ourselves, and we are instructed that if we have faith that our prayers will be answered then they will be answered according to our faith.
Faith is sometimes seen as a tricky thing. Either you have it or you don't. Many times, we wonder if there is any way to increase the amount of faith that we have so that our prayers will be more effective in our lives.
Most people tend to pray for one of three things - health, financial abundance, or good relationships. The message of Christ was that we could have anything we wanted if we had enough faith.
In the act of giving gifts, we are generally acting out of love, with the faith that there will be enough financial abundance to fulfill our needs even after the giving of the gifts.
By giving gifts, we open ourselves to the wondrous free flow of Spiritual energy into our souls, which then blesses us in many ways. Yes, we can improve our health and our prosperity by giving gifts.
With so many reasons to be giving gifts, it's really no wonder why Christmas-time became the best reason in the world for gift giving.
May you be blessed by the giving of gifts this year.