Family of Hope House Church December 2013
Reflections on Gift Giving at Christmas
In his book, “Scroogenomics”, Joel Waldfogel of the University of Pennsylvania makes the case that gift giving, especially the kind we do at Christmas, makes no economic sense. It’s a form of wealth destruction, he says, in that if we buy a sweater for ourselves for, say, $50, we do so because we believe it has at least that much value, but if Aunt Minnie buys a $50 sweater for us it’s unlikely that it has that same value for us. We might just store in an already full closet and later haul it off to the local thrift store or sell it at a pittance at our next yard sale. So unless we know someone very, very well, he says, we’re better off giving them a gift card, or a gift to charity in their name. Or we might write or create something that can’t be bought at a store, or maybe put together a book of coupons that offer our time or some favors they might enjoy.
I’ve just read reviews of the book, so I shouldn’t pretend to understand it all, but I do know that as a child growing up (in a home in which my parents were poor and our Christmases meager), whatever simple gifts I was given, whether bought or homemade, definitely increased in their value in the giving. I was breathless with excitement over the kind of simple Christmas my grandchildren could hardly imagine. Yet I’m sure I enjoyed it as least as much as they, surrounded on Christmas morning by all kinds of battery powered gadgets and Fisher Price plastic and reams of torn wrapping paper. As an alternative, I’ve even proposed that our grandchildren might want to select from their rather ample toy collections something they would like to give one of their young cousins or a needy child as a recycled gift, carefully chosen and given a second life. Or we adults could agree to select a choice book from our libraries or from our collection of dishes or tools to give a friend or family member, something we no longer need but believe could add to someone else’s pleasure, and thus truly add value to the gift. - Harvey Yoder
Notes, prayers and praises
* WE WILL BE USING the lectionary texts during Advent.
WE WELCOME OUR HOUSE CHURCH FRIENDS to our annual Christmas Celebration and meal at the Lodge Sunday, December 15.
A DECEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSING to Karen Campbell 12/26!
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Advent lectionary readings
1 Isaiah 2:1-5 Psalm 122 Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:36-44
8 Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 Romans 15:4-13 Matthew 3:1-12
15 Isaiah 35:1-10 Psalm 146:5-10 James 5:7-10 Matthew 11:2-11
22 Isaiah 7:10-16 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-25
29 Isaiah 63:7-9 Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23
December services worship at 4, meal at 6 (except 12/15)
1 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802 574-6141
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr Carry-in Meal
8 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr., K’town 908-0391
25th Anniversary celebration for Elly and Neal
Worship and Sharing c/o Lois Wenger and David Weaver
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder Reception Carry-in meal
15 Annual Christmas Reunion Celebration with other house churches
4 pm Carry-in Meal at Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr., K’town 908-0391, plus a meditation by Dick Dumas, carol singing, a children’s story, and an offering for Heifer International.
22 Location: Family Life Resource Center 723 Newman Ave. 432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Elly Nelson Carry-in Meal
27 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802 564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: James Stauffer Carry-in Meal