So a week later, when the real day arrived, I was ready with my wrapped-a-whole-week-early socks and a fresh batch of cookies. It was just as entertaining as I remembered, and I came home pleased with my tray of yummies and socks with which I emerged, victorious, from the battle.
See, it’s not so much a pleasant, easygoing gift exchange as it is a cunning game of chance and avarice. It’s Dirty Santa at its finest, with 40 women vying for Christmas socks that cost, at the most, $5. It’s great. And a more than a little revealing. Here are a few thoughts about this year’s Christmas sock exchange:
You can have Chick-fil-A on Sunday. It just takes foresight and a working oven to reheat the nuggets and strips.
Women can be extremely competitive when it comes to socks. This may surprise you, but not me. I once stood in line for hours to buy my daughter clothes at a Buster Brown factory sale. It was only after I got inside that I realized I didn’t have the fortitude to fight other women for toddler outfits. I actually witnessed the manager stop the frenzy once because an elderly woman had been knocked down and other women were throwing armloads of clothing they didn’t want on the floor. True story.
Sweets cover a multitude of sins. Women who snatch socks right out of their sisters in Christ’s very hands are once again best friends when they circle the treat table and load up their platters with sweets. Grace truly is amazing.
People have different tastes when it comes to socks. I like fuzzy socks I can wear to bed. The pair I walked away with this time were even “infused with shea butter.” Not sure how that works, but they sure feel nice. Other women went for multiple packs of Christmas socks. And for still others, the perfect pair of socks didn’t have a Christmas theme at all, but could be worn long after the holidays. It all worked out because we’re all different, even though we’re created in God’s image. Maybe if we just tried a little harder to see and love each other the way God does, in spite of our socks, the world, not to mention our Christian community, would be a better place.
Jesus didn’t appeal to everyone, either. From the Sadducees and Pharisees to the zealots and occasionally his own followers, He wasn’t exactly the Messiah most people were looking for. But He was and is God incarnate, and if He doesn’t always fit our idea of a savior then maybe our vision is too small.
You can’t judge a pair of socks by its wrapping. Some socks come in bags stuffed with bright tissue paper, some in colorful packages tied with curly ribbon, and some tucked in holiday mugs or cookie tins, adding to the allure. But no matter how pretty or plain the package, there’s no way of knowing what kind of socks are hidden inside until you unwrap them.
Isn’t it the same way with people? How can we possibly know anyone’s heart until we take the time to unwrap the outer layers? Sometimes those wrappings are taped tightly and double knotted, but it’s always worth the effort to reveal the gift inside.
Jesus didn’t come to us in luxurious trappings, either. And yet He was the most extravagant gift ever given and received, priceless love straight to us from the heart of God.
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:12Finally, don’t hold onto anything in this world too tightly, or you’ll surely lose it. Every time I got a pair of socks I had my eyes on (okay…I was coveting), along would come another woman determined to possess MY SOCKS. In truth, it was comical because they were just socks. On the other hand, Jesus said,
“… whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” – Matthew 16:25Jesus came into the world and gave His life so we might be able to unclench our fists and hand Him our lives. In return, He promises life eternal with Him and life abundant here on Earth. It really is the best gift exchange of all.