Holiday shopping can be taxing.
Questions like: What do I get for the gift exchange at work? Will my gift be good enough?
What about my sister? She has everything! What can I get her?
And what do I get the teenagers who only want to game and I don’t know anything about the gaming? I could get a gift certificate but if it only has $25 on it, how good is that?
These are the types of questions that plague me and I’m guessing some of you.
This year was no different! We had family in town and there were 2 extra teenage boys to consider. I basically know nothing about them except 1. They’re swimmers, and 2. They like the Oregon Ducks in honor of our cousins in Oregon. My brother and his family live in Maryland and we barely see them and I haven’t spent much time with the teens in the past few years due to my own transitions in life. I see their pictures on Facebook, and they look happy, but what do you get a teen?
So on my ONE shopping trip where I was squeezed for time and HAD to find gifts for everyone, I landed in a TJ MAXX in Orlando, my home town, and started the hunt. I went everywhere with no ideas in sight. Then I finally pleaded with God, “Lord PLEASE help! I want to find something SPECIAL and COOL. I want to be the COOL Aunt who can find something AWESOME for these boys!”
I picked up a few things like cuff links thinking, “hmmm.. they might like these” but then, I SAW THEM!!
SKI HATS! What? In Orlando? We don’t have much cold weather here! And GUESS WHAT THE LOGO was on the HATS? Not the Florida Gators, or the Miami Dolphins that you’d likely see.. but a team from ALL the way across the country.. but one that I was THRILLED to see! YEP! You GUESSED IT! The SKI Hats were from DUCK COUNTRY! The Oregon Ducks to be exact!
There they were: Green and yellow ski hats. I picked them up and KNEW these were IT.
But WAIT! What if they already had them? What if my cousin had sent hats to them already? I thought about calling my sister in law to ask but then realized, “NO! God would have not answered my prayer and put these random ski hats from the Oregon Ducks in my path if they already had them! I’m getting them and believe these are the cool gifts I asked to find for the boys.”
On Christmas Eve Eve, which was the day our families all gathered, we opened our gifts. When my nephews opened the Oregon Ducks Hats they both IMMEDIATELY put them on and announced how cool they were! Furthermore they left them on all night long!
Then, my sister in law confirmed what I had hoped: that these were the absolutely PERFECT gifts for her boys. She excitedly told me that when the swimmers get out of the water, they use ski hats to keep warm and that ALL of the swimmers like to wear ski hats that are cool and have meaning! They are a big statement item and it’s really cool to have different and interesting ski caps! Her excitement told me that she was being genuine and the fact that the boys rarely took the hats off, despite the 72 degree Florida weather, told me that they loved them!
What a random prayer, huh? To find really cool gifts for some teenage boys who I wanted to feel special. I wanted them to know I cared in spite of the fact we barely see each other. And seriously? Finding OREGON DUCK attire all the way across the country? And finding the ONE item I could afford and that they would actually USE? BINGO. YEP! That is apparently how God works and how much he cares for our needs.
The scripture that comes to mind is this: “Yes, ask anything , using my name, and I will do it”. John 14:14. And for my Jewish friends: “The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us.” Psalm 115:2.
Big or small, He cares for us all!