You might remember my post regarding Christmas gifts. In that post I made a quick mention about our youth group Christmas party and not having them bring gifts for an exchange.
Well, tonight was the night; and it was such a GREAT night! The house was packed to the brim both upstairs and down with laughter, funny stories, practical jokes, and love (yes you can have that combo with teenagers in the house =)
Instead of the usual gift exchange we did a "necessity item exchange". Everyone brought a wrapped necessity item and we did the dirty Santa game, (the one where you can steal gifts). The person who's item was stolen the most won a prize. The most stolen item was laundry detergent and dryer sheets, being stolen 9 times. The second item was a can of pineapple chunks, stolen 5 times. They had a blast playing that game then they left all of the items behind.
Along with their wrapped item many also brought additional items.
As Daniel and I went through the items, dividing them between families who are in need we thought, man... this is just so much better than each person walking away with another $10 gift. Some people are going to be really blessed by our fun night.
It was great for everyone, the parents didn't have to stress over another expensive gift, nobody went home sad because they brought a good gift but left with a "crummy" gift and...
this stuff won't be in next years garage sale, being sold for a quarter ;)
Side Note: *Gifts are great, I think they are a wonderful way to show love to people. Daniel's love language is gifts. If you know me personally... you have probably received a gift from me. Tonight, students and parents brought us gifts which we appreciated deeply. I just don't like how consumed we become with it. I don't like all of the heartache it causes some families and I don't like how we have so much stuff when others have nothing.
With that said, if the motive behind gift giving is pure, it can be a lovely thing. Pure love in gift giving generally gives gifts to all different types of people for all different types of reasons.