A Christmas Oxymoron?

An oxymoron  is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Oxymorons appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors such as extremely average and literary oxymorons designed  to reveal a paradox.

"I just finished my Christmas shopping!" or "I haven't STARTED my Christmas shopping!" are statements I'm hearing from many these days (delivered with either a sigh of relief or a hint of dread).  To me, "Christmas shopping" seems to be a bit of an oxymoron...right up there with open secret, larger half, clearly confused, liquid gas, near miss, original copy, and unbiased opinion.

I don't know if I can explain myself, but let me try.  To some, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without shopping.  Shopping, I think, has become confused with "GIVING"!  Christmas GIVING I can live and love with.  Christmas SHOPPING  is another story.

You've probably heard the quote, "You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving."  I like that!  And I love to give.  My Christmas IDEAL  is to learn how to GIVE without SHOPPING.  And there ARE ways!  I was reminded of this when I went through my Christmas books and found the one pictured above.  The subtitle is "How You Can Change Someone's Life"!   It has some great ideas and triggered my imagination about still more ways to give without shopping

God so loved the world , that HE gave (without shopping, but at great price)  John 3:16
...and in giving,  He IS changing the lives of many--"whoever believes in Him"!


  1. Great post, sweet friend!! Hope you have an awesome day/week!

  2. Yes, you can give without shopping by offering
    your help to someone who has a need, etc.
    I enjoy shopping though, especially for my
    husband and sons. I love all the nice men's
    shirts and accessories and picking out
    things I know they'll like. It's the same
    when birthday time comes around. I really
    enjoy picking out gifts then too. I have
    a few very close girlfriends that I still
    exchange birthday gifts with each year.
    We go to lunch and open our gifts from
    one another. Giving gifts is one of life's
    little pleasantries I think.

  3. You're SO right, Sandy! And I DO occasionally shop for the kind of gifts you described and enjoy seeing the pleasure of those I love. I guess for me, it's more a self-imposed pressure at Christmas time that I resist - finding the "right" gift for all the "right" people, etc.

    I KNOW this comes across a bit "jaded". I'm struggling to express myself accurately and honestly, not to come across as judgmental about anyone else, and to truly have a selfless & Christlike heart now and always...

  4. Well, since our family has stopped most 'shopping gift' giving at Christmas, I LOVE IT!! We have one person we shop/gift for and it's wonderful. You concentrate on that one person and it's pure joy! And the day we exchange is pure joy too! To see what each has picked out for another, some gifts are funny, some are touching, some are store-bought, some are handmade, there are crocheted items, wood working items, there are boxed gifts from Lord & Taylor, and boxed gifts from Target, and even things picked out of the garbage found on the curb (that's a FAVORITE of mine!), each 'giver' seems to know each 'recipient' well, and it's become a much-loved tradition.

    I know it's so hard to find that balance, Rebecca. I've been living the same struggle for the past few years myself.
    Beautiful post!
    God Bless you!
    Love and Prayers,

  5. Sounds like you've found a good and grace-filled balance, Eileen! It blesses me to hear about it.

  6. I think we all struggle with this to a degree. I often give gifts I've made. I also try to listen to people throughout the year and try to find a small give in their interest category so that part of the gift I give is caring enough to lisen.

    I give a lot of books for gifts that I order at home. So far I have spent 3 hours in actual stores. Christ's coming is our gift. And I like my gifts to reflect that.

  7. Pamela, I've learned much about gift-giving from you. (Friends, if you haven't met Pamela, you should click on her name and be blessed by her creative ideas!)

  8. An absolutley wonderful post....am sending readers to this post...exactly how I feel

  9. Love this post Rebecca, my favorite gift to give is my love and to offer time to those in need and my greatest gift to receive is "them", so love when family and friends visit and lend a hand. God Bless....:-)Hugs

  10. Dear Rebecca, I understand you. This is another of your posts that clearly speaks to my own heart as well. I feel the same. As much as I do love to give, I also resist the pressure at this time of year for bigger, more expensive, outdo what we gave last year sort of attitude. It's hard to explain to others I find because it comes across as selfish at times but it is anything but. I too am seeking a genuine way to "give"...
    I've actually had others tell me before how expensive a gift should be...my jaws dropped. I don't like the material aspect of this season although I love to give thoughtful things to family and friends...
    Ah, why is it so tough?:)

  11. To all who understand me and all who accept me as I am, I am MOST grateful. I thank God for each of you.

  12. I had a long comment here yesterday but it suddenly disappeared on me. So I'll try again...

    I do understand you and I so admire your heart and attitude towards giving. Giving is (should be) a voluntary act of love...not a compulsion or something we do because it is expected of us.

    Personally, I wish I had more time to give more gifts without shopping! Over the years I've given many home made types of gifts but right now I just can't find enough hours in the day (or night) to do much of that...but I've learned to scale way back on the amount of shopping and spending. There is so much more to love about Christmas without getting too caught up in the frenzy at the malls. That's why I'm happy that I'm "done with my shopping" and can now turn my focus to the things that matter more to me~contemplating the Incarnation, making memories with my grandkids, finding a need somewhere to fill. I just LOVE Christmas!

  13. You explained yourself beautifully. I like Christmas giving as well and have endeavored to get creative with my giving this year. Less focused on the price (although that is important) and more focused on the love. Seems like you've experienced a lot of that in recent days with many friends. Love the red-hat party and all the decorations. I can almost hear the laughter through the screen!


  14. I think you said this beautifully! The GIVING, not the SHOPPING is what I am aiming for, so I try to shop sales through the year, but never quite get it done. We are simplifying though, and it's been amazingly hard to get to this point. We all still love the gift exchange, so are trying to be more creative and also draw names among the adults. It's such a wonderful time to celebrate the meaning and why we have such joy, and yet we seem to get lost in the shuffle so many times in December and all of a sudden it's over.

    I'm renewing my efforts to simplify! :)

    Merry Christmas Rebecca!


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)