I have been reading the testimony of a lady who was brought up in a believing family in Hungary in the 1950’s. One statement she makes is:
All in all, we, as a family, were not “living it up”. But we managed… More, we were happy, as a believing family. Be that as it may, one of the unforgettable memories that have stayed with me was the fact that it was never difficult for us, family members, to delight each other. It was always easy to think of a surprise, be that for a birthday or perhaps Christmas. It was true both ways: for parents to delight their children, or for us, children, to delight our parents. Always easy to think of something that would be appreciated.
How different it is now. Generally, we still live in times of plenty. Even those who are lowest on the financial ladder still seem to find means to have all kinds of gadgets as part of the general apparatus of life. As a result in the midst of the plenty we are starved of the means of of surprising one another and delighting one another. We now find it so difficult to find a way of doing something that will be appreciated by family members. Some observations in the midst of all this:
- Let us not lose the ability to be thankful. Thankfulness is a wholesome Christian grace. If we lose the ability to be thankful we are moving in the way of the flesh.
- I must confess that I often default now to giving money in lieu of a tangible gift. It seems so often you can rack your brains for something to buy as a present and it is often unappreciated because “they have that already.”
- Home made things can often be the things that actually bring the blessing. They show that effort has been made to produce something and not just money expended.