Have you ever gotten a really horrible gift? A gift that as soon as you opened up the festive wrapping paper you knew was going to require an immediate trip to the local big box store so that you could exchange what you received for something you actually liked? What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? I still laugh about my first Christmas at Chelsea’s parents’ house. This is a little bit of a confession, so hang in there, but I felt bad showing up empty handed, but keep in mind I was a broke college student. Luckily, my mom had a Christmas party the night before with all sorts of odds and end door prizes. So, as the party was getting over, I scooped up a handful of these gifts, quickly checking off all the family members who would be there and off I went to wrap them up. On Christmas morning, I waited as they started handing out gifts and when I saw the ones that looked wrapped by an angry one armed person; I knew my time had come. My brother-in-law’s wife was up first—and she was surprised when she found a bar of soap waiting—Her witty response—“What are you trying to say?” Next, was my sister-in-law—she unwrapped the paper and was surprised to find a luminary kit without any candles. Her honest response—“What in the world am I supposed to do with this?” Little did I know, that I started a holiday tradition, a competition of sorts to see who could get the worst gift for the other person—the next year I got my favorite candy bar in a box—a Pay Day, only problem—it was just a wrapper. Then, it was my turn, I got a bunch of Arby’s coupons—they were running a special—with a .01 cent coupon, and better yet, I found a handful of one cent coupons that were expired and gave those. Needless to say, there are some gifts that seem destined for the return pile.
And according to Consumer Reports—20% of all gifts are lousy. What do we do with them? 39% of us store unwanted gifts out of sight and try to forget about them. 15% of us re-gift them to unsuspecting family members or friends. 11% of us return unwanted gifts to a retailer for a refund– or, get this – toss the gift in the trash! 6% percent of us try to resell the gift. But it gets worst. Why 2% of us actually confront the original giver, demanding a new gift, while another 2% of us retaliate with ridicule posting photos of our lousy gift on the Internet![20 Percent Of Adults Get Stuck With Lousy Holiday Gifts, Consumer Reports News: December 14, 2011]
Last week we started an Advent series called Socks and Underwear which showed us that although Christ came in wildly unexpected ways—seemingly like the gift that no one really wanted, he was exactly what we need. We saw Christ coming for a connection rather than for comfort, for our redemption rather than him enjoying royalty, and to love rather than solely to lead. Today we have to decide what to do with the gift, some choose to: Continue reading “Regifted”