Clutter. It’s what’s in my house. Any mom of a band of small children will tell you as much. Sometimes, like when I’m trying to write and a herd of decorative sheep who have been tossed from their natural habitat on the mantle to make room for toy soldiers are flopped into the overstuffed bookcase next to me, it bothers me. Most times though, like mid-craft making or doll city building or nerd book stacking, it doesn’t even occur to me that our turn on the hoarders show is likely coming soon. Blame it on my pack rat nature I suppose, but I actually like living in a house where things are actively happening. “Things” to me, are so often associated with people, memories, and experiences. I consider them all gifts which are full of life and stories.
Gifts. They’re what Christmas shoppers are searching tediously for. For a people who have so very much, is it not absurd to think we, or they, really need anything more? We do not. We’ve got stuff coming out our noses. Even still, cluttered crazies like me shop ’til we drop. Gifts, to me, are not usually about items, rather, communion.
Communion. It’s what happens when one or more kindred spirits show affection, deference, love, and association towards each other.
We were out of town last weekend and missed church. My nine year old rose to the occasion by breaking up her toast, dividing her juice, and offering her father and I “communion.”
Communion is a state of unity, togetherness, joy, and agreement. “Stuff” cannot produce communion any more than plain bread and wine, in themselves, can produce the Eucharist. Gifts, however, are consecrated – made holy – by the givers. When the giving becomes more about the attitude, the respect, the realness of the giver than the gift itself, Christmas becomes communion; fellowship; camaraderie; intimacy, rather than a shallow exchange of cat lady clutter.
Maybe it’s because one of the gifts God gave me is being a “gifter.”
Gifter – noun – someone who loves to give random gifts all throughout the year to an assortment of unsuspecting giftees.
I’m not sure if that’s on the formal list of spiritual gifts, but I’m positive it’s at least a subdivision.
Spiritual gifts. They’re what God hands down to his children for the benefit of his other children. I wholeheartedly believe that the spiritual gifts we are given are directly related to our personalities. Case in point: cluttered cat lady = year round gifter. Kidding! Honestly, though, my husband is mechanical. He can diagnose, fix, repair, build, or modify just about anything. His spiritual gifts have to do with service, helps, and everything that’s behind the scenes in between. He’s not the guy singing in the choir because someone has to fix the mic, wire the stereo, build the website, and oil the hinges everywhere in between. God made me a nerd. I love books, reading, writing, and dialogue on differing concepts and ideas. My strengths are not in the choir or the kitchen. God gave us all different gifts that we might come together and share them. Our differences are meant to unify, not divide.
Division. It’s what happens when we place the emphasis on the wrong things. The celebration of Christ’s birth was never meant to be about presents. It was meant to be about the gifts of one another’s presence. When we value people, the things they bring become infinitely valuable. Extra people are not viewed as out of place clutter, but blessed gifts. One gift is never emphasized more than another because every gift is important in the grand scheme of this Holy Communion – whether it be in the church or in our own homes.
Happy Christmas. It’s what cluttered cat lady nerds say when they are finished rambling in December.