As a child, I was always worried about receiving the perfect gift. You know, the perfect gift? The one that’s not too large or too small, not too expensive or cheap. I wanted a gift that was just right. I worried about it because I was always afraid of someone giving me something that wasn’t good enough.
I remember once my mother told me that it would be okay if I didn’t get any gifts for Christmas. She said she had already given me the best gift anyone could ever have given me; she gave me life. However, with her statement came the pressure of giving my parents a great Christmas present. It’s no wonder why my family didn’t have money to buy presents for us kids when we were younger.
The pressure to have a perfect Christmas began early in my childhood and lasted until high school when I began to experience the rebellious years of being called “too sensitive” and “a bleeding heart liberal!”
I remember in high school once asking my mother for a Christmas present during the summer months; she responded with “You are going to get everything you want to come Christmas! So why would you ask now? You don’t need anything! You will get what you want! Why ask now?” I remember feeling insulted and hurt by her response, but as the years passed by all her bad responses were forgotten and forgiven because “I know she loves me…she is just upset with all the stress from work and everyday life…she knows how much I worry about getting the right gift…she thinks that if I ask for something now, God will take it away from me at Christmas…I want to make sure that God doesn’t take away what I want at Christmas…I know she loves me but sometimes she doesn’t show it…and so on and so on….blah blah blah (you get the picture)….and so this is how we continue to live our lives….forgetting all our pain and trauma…forgetting all our hurts….forgetting all our pain until one day…we die…..
Because of these feelings of abandonment, rejection, not being loved enough or good enough, I began to have a lot of self-doubts. It was through the encouragement of others that I was able to have a breakthrough and begin to live a life of peace, love, and joy. I began to see that the love I had always wanted was there all along but I was too busy looking for it outside of myself. I realized that…I am loved by God…I am made in His image…I am loved by my family and friends…and so on and so on….
The pressure of wanting the perfect Christmas gift has been lifted off my shoulders, but I do still get stressed out when it comes time to buy gifts for other people. It’s not because I don’t want them to be happy with their gifts, but because they expect me to get them something nice. I guess you could say, I’m on a quest for giving the perfect gift!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)