Humble extravagance

Humble extravagance

Humble extravagance 150 150 JJ Landis

I am in the midst of wrapping Christmas gifts for my kids. I’m trying to save the earth and some money by using newspaper instead of official holiday wrapping paper.

The newspaper pages aren’t large enough to fit around the boxes. I’ve been slapping a few scraps on here and there to cover any holes and then using tons of tape to seal the edges.

After I snip and fold and patch and tape, the gifts look kind of sad.

I solve that problem by decorating them with markers and ribbon, and they end up having a simple charm to them.

What is inside the box is what’s important. Not the way it’s wrapped. We all know that.

I can be wooed by pretty packaging. A bottle of hand soap given in a gift bag is more appealing than one straight from the store. A chocolate bar tied with a red ribbon is more pleasing than the candy I grab while waiting in line at the grocery.

The packaging is deceptive. When it’s all said and done, the decorative presentation is temporary and doesn’t necessarily represent the gift.

Jesus, our gift, was not adorned with the majesty he deserved. He came into the world in dire circumstances and left in worse.

I’m not against Christmas celebrations! I can’t wait until Christmas morning when I get to watch my kids open their humble newspaper-wrapped boxes full of extravagant gifts.

Jesus didn’t come as an extravagant, beautiful package, glittering and sparkling. We decorate him for our own purposes and desires, make him into who we want him to be.

Let’s take some time to unwrap our Jesus of the Bible, to get through the packaging and see the real gift.


JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at

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