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Home Forums Book Club A Brief Theology of Christmas Presents

  • A Brief Theology of Christmas Presents

    Posted by Jacy Cohen on October 3, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    We’re taking the next two weeks to read this short little book! Who is already running out of room in their Christmas present hiding closet? 🙋🏻‍♀️🙈

    Jordan Sparks replied 1 year, 5 months ago 7 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Jaime Lingle

    October 4, 2022 at 12:27 am

    I’ve only barely started buying gifts, but I’ve started! Hopefully, I’ll remember where I hid these gifts. Sometimes I forget about the ones I buy several months ahead of the date.

  • KC Claud

    October 4, 2022 at 3:59 am

    Y’all I’m just trying not to forget anything in October 😆 I did make a promise to myself I’d get Christmas cards out early this year because I send one to the Philippines and one to Turkey-

  • Jacy Cohen

    October 6, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    How’s it going, ladies? I’m loving the book! It is already bringing me excitement and joy for the Christmas season. I’m so thankful for the reformed camp that has brought back to light Christian joy and feasting. Recommended continued reading: God Rest Ye Merry by Douglas Wilson and Christmas Spirit by George Grant and Gregory Wilbur

  • Jordan Sparks

    October 8, 2022 at 5:47 am

    Well I completely loved this book! I know it’s supposed to be a two week read but I couldn’t put it down. I love that the entire premise of this book is basically like how did God show generosity to you? Ok do that. Seeing the 3 types of giving was really helpful as well. Tithe, offerings, and then celebratory giving. Interesting that even the pagans know how to give during times of celebration. Almost as it it’s engrained in our DNA as humans.

    Also loved the illustration with a dad giving his son a dollar to buy him a present with. All of what we have is on loan God and he has been unbelievably generous with us. May we in turn be generous with all of His that’s entrusted to us.

    I also loved the portion where he talked about those that give being a shrewd farmer. That giving is fertile soil. Just because the prosperity gospel folk have misused scripture doesn’t mean that we should why away from the promises of scripture when we give generously.

    I could say so much about this book but one more line that I thought was helpful was that burnout is a function of a bad input to output ratio. When we try to strive and give and do with our own fleshly willpower we will always burn out, but when we trust the lord to supply all that we need we are empowered.

    • Becki McNeely

      October 11, 2022 at 4:22 am

      I really loved this read too! I couldn’t put it down either Jordan! I blazed through it in an afternoon rest time. I loved seeing the three categories of tithes, offerings, and celebrations detailed out as well.

      When he talks about the difference between joy and misery at Christmas in regards to the heart of our giving to others, it reminded me of when I was little. Present opening was slow and peaceful. We didn’t tear through the presents. We distributed the gifts to everyone until each person had a little pile. Then we took turns opening one present each. I remember that even on leaner years, when my parents didn’t get each other gifts, they were so happy just to watch us be excited about our carefully chosen gifts. As a parent now, I can look back at those memories and understand that seeing their children joyful and excited about each present, big or small, was truly the best gift for them.

      I loved when he said “true receivers are being equipped to give. You are filled in the meal of communion, and then sent out into the world in order to overflow.” Last year, God blessed us by friends in a time of need. This year, he enabled us to love on others in similar ways. Love this picture of giving and receiving in the area of communion too.

  • Jordan Sparks

    October 12, 2022 at 1:45 am

    Yes! That’s how our gift time was and is as well! Slow and intentional. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Jenna Hutches

    October 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    I finished it! I loved the book and I really like being able to look at the gift giving in a theological way. Bo (my husband) and I always struggle with Christmas because of how much goes into it especially since he has a bigger family and our families continue to grow each year. This year we decided to do a “make the gifts” Christmas which after reading this book sounds even more fun. I love that I am using my hands to give fruit as a gift to my family and friends!

    I really loved how he talks about the relationship and the need between giving and receiving! It has helped me look at everything in a bigger picture than just Christmas gift giving. I also liked the separation of the three types of giving!

    Overall, great book and I enjoyed it a lot! Bring on Christmas gift giving and my favorite holiday season! I can’t wait to give and receive joyfully!

  • Jacy Cohen

    October 14, 2022 at 2:05 am

    I also love that he talks about being a good receiver. Maybe instead of saying “You shouldn’t have” when someone gives us a gift we should say “thank you for your thoughtfulness”! When we have been on the receiving end of meals from families in the church I have always apologized for people having to drive so far to drop the meal off. But if I’m driving to take someone else a meal, I don’t think a thing of it. If they didn’t want to give me a gift, they wouldn’t have. I just need to be thankful so many people love me.

    I also tend to grumble about the amount of toys my kids receive at Christmas. We have three kids and two of them have December birthdays (19th and 25th), so the gifts pile up very quickly in December. I can become ungrateful, thinking that people just don’t care how many junky toys I have to pick up off the floor every day. But this book has convicted me of my ungratefulness and being a bad receiver.

  • Melanie Benoit

    November 18, 2022 at 11:27 am

    I’m over here never quite jumping in, but I borrowed this one from Becki and enjoyed it so much!

    The parts about learning to be content in receiving really got me thinking. I am a natural gift giver but am not great at receiving without feeling inner guilt or like I’m undeserving. I spent some time thinking through what the author said, and in my case it truly doesn’t stem from pride but from a fierce case of self-reliance due to many factors of my upbringing. So it really challenged me to be more open to receiving blessings and asking for help when I need it!

  • Jordan Sparks

    November 23, 2022 at 4:37 am

    That’s awesome Melonie!

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