The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Choosing presents with a spiritual tie

Your gifts can be symbols of God's presence in daily life

Soon after we got married, we discovered that on the issue of holiday gift-giving our family backgrounds diverged. Fred's family opens presents on Christmas Eve; Mary Ann's always does it on Christmas morning. Everyone in Fred's family makes out a Christmas list of what they want, and presents are supposed to be chosen from these lists. Mary Ann's relatives love to come up with surprise gifts.

Over the years, we've had to find a way to reconcile this different approach to the holidays. The timing of gift-giving was an easy compromise. We open the ones from Fred's family in the evening and the others in the morning. What to give was a bigger challenge until we decided that, especially for Christmas, our gifts should reflect our beliefs about God and the world.


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