Gift-giving is a common topic as each year comes to a close. As people prepare to see loved ones or friends throughout the holidays, they often look for something special to give. It's more than a habit ingrained by corporate commercialism and marketing, though, and many seniors likely have fond memories of both giving and receiving presents during this festive season.
Still, it's important for people of faith to remember the reason behind the season and why we give gifts to begin with. Many of our Bethesda Senior Living Communities offer worship and devotion opportunities that can help you celebrate the true spirit of Christmas. But by understanding what the Bible says about gift giving, you can also better appreciate the meaning the advent season each time you exchange items with someone else.
James 1:17 tells us that every good gift comes from above — from God in Heaven. He is the Father of lights, and he has no darkness. The Bible is very clear that, while God does not make our choice for us, he wants very much to give us good things.
When we give and receive items in the same spirit — with a desire for other people to experience good things because we love them — we honor what God does for us every day.
1 Timothy 6:18-19 says that we are to be rich in good works, ready to share with others. This is a great reminder that not all gifts are tangible. Sometimes, the best thing to give someone during the holiday season is your time, presence and love. There's a reason that people gather together during this time of year.
Seniors in assisted living communities can make more time to spend with friends throughout December, even if it's just to listen to them or share a cup of coffee. They can also invite loved ones to visit them and enjoy meals in community dining areas. If you're able, you might also want to look into ways to serve others within your community, whether that's participating in a coat drive, making blankets for children in need or serving food in a rescue mission.
Romans 12:6 reminds us that God, through Christ, has given each of us gifts to use for his glory. The holidays can be a great time to use your gifts for that purpose — to shine the light on Jesus while bringing joy to other people. Whether you enjoy singing or playing the piano and can help lead an impromptu holiday carol session in your assisted living community or you have skills as a craftsperson or artisan and can make meaningful gifts for others, let your light shine as you reach out to other this season.