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Are we "chasing the wind" in our gift-giving?

Winds blow through the new Patio at Town Center Mall
Winds blow through the new Patio at Town Center Mall
Westridge Valencia

On Sunday I strolled through the new Patio at Valencia Town Center Mall and was stunned to see the heavy doors of the new MAC store fling themselves open as gusts of wind ripped through the corridor. According to Weather Underground, we can expect to see more of the same off and on throughout this week.

Have you ever accidentally dropped something as the wind blew past? Remember that feeling as you chased it while the wind teased you? The gust picks up and carries your item a few feet from you, pauses, you approach, and the wind lifts it yet again. This is what I call "chasing the wind". If it's ever happened to you, then you understand that embarassing feeling a lack of control gives.

As we seek out the good deals and strive to give our loved ones the best we have, let's be careful this year. When we buy more than we can afford and start charging the gifts in order to impress or show love, we are actually "chasing the wind" financially speaking. We convince ourselves we truly can afford that new 50 inch flat screen T.V., if we pay once a month for $20. Of course, we will be paying for the next 3 years. We are also assuming we won't long to buy something else big on the next birthday or even next year. It becomes an unending cycle of debt and repayment until one day we discover we are paying for too many items without enough income.

Why not try honesty, however painful? Can our gifts be genuine but not costly? If our love for family, friends or colleagues is real, then our expression of love should reflect that reality. Monetary hugeness only reveals monetary appreciation. What about giving gifts of the heart? Writing notes which truly express our feelings or using our talents to create something, however simple, brings a more personal and honest touch to our gift giving. Our true friends should appreciate the thought as much as the money. We know that in our hearts, but perhaps this year is a good time to live it.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon (considered one of the world's wisest men), shares his personal discoveries of "chasing the wind". As we seek to impress those around us with our buying abilities let's remember his warning found in Ecclesiastes 2:10-11, "I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. "


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