I heard it once. Other years, jokes made about our bounty, perhaps to ease the uncomfortableness with so much, did kind of offend me. I could never really articulate why exactly. It is a one of my love languages. To call it loot is to be flippant and demeaning of the gift and maybe the giver too. After all it is a way to show love. Somehow this year when I heard it, it seemed petty and crass and wrong.
Loot is what soldiers plunder and take. Material goods or people, as we know from ancient and biblical history, taken after a battle from the losers by the victors. Even the most casual of people surely do not want their gifts considered plunder, the spoil of war.
Christmas is a reminder for anyone of our human yearning for peace. For believers, it is a particular time to ponder that incredible wonder of His coming.
I was mindful to think of the gifts as exactly that. Gifts.
Our youngest daughter loves to give gifts. Not anything will do! She ponders and thinks and plans. Her countenance brightens up when she decides or finds the perfect gift for a loved friend or family member. She chose her gifts after much consideration from the school Holiday Shoppe list. On the last day it was open, she shopped. Everything on her list was still there. She ran in from the bus and raced upstairs to wrap her gifts. The paper chosen was the nicest and had gold on one side with the beautiful words of Christmas joy and love on the other.
She epitomized a giver, wanting only joy and pleasure for the receiver. These gifts were not pricey but they actually were the best of all!
Did her love for us show in what she chose?
Gifts are given, freely. It is the nature of the word. There is no hint of reciprocal. This child had no thought of what she would get in return. She only wanted to show love.
In fact, we were inspired in a fresh way to keep this spirit of Christmas ourselves as we shopped for gifts and made our lists. To call those gifts given in love loot??
No, each package contained a gift.
Loot speaks to the commercial aspect of the celebration of Christmas in a very secular way, not of Christ’s first advent.
Gift speaks to our hearts. Gift is to be received, to be enjoyed.
Christmas though not a biblically ordained celebration or feast has its celebratory origins in winter solstice we are told. Regardless, Christianity has made this holiday its own. Traditions of old and mostly from Europe during the Victorian era have been embraced and often spiritual meanings are attached to the star on the tree, the evergreen, the candy cane. All part of celebrating a gift given freely. The gift of salvation, of eternal life, of Jesus.
And by the way, every gift she gave was perfectly perfect for the receiver!
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10