on gift registries

oh, i have had such inner turmoil over gift registries!

my first response was: “this is silly and i won’t do it.” the reason for this was that i thought i had been on my own long enough to have already accrued plenty of necessities. i have enough to make-do and i don’t want to get new stuff just because i can. furthermore, our wedding is a potluck, which means our guests are already having to provide the food and surely they won’t also want to feel like they have to give us a present.

but then… well, then many of my married friends told me i might regret it. they said that probably people will WANT to give us gifts, and they might appreciate a little direction from us about what we could use or might like to have.  i started seeing how the act of giving a couple gifts at a wedding is symbolic just as much as it is practical. it’s a ritual and tradition in our culture that maybe i oughtn’t be so quick to discard. the ritual, at heart, is a community saying a young couple this:

“we believe that this thing called marriage, which you are stepping into together, is good for all of us. it matters to the well-being of the whole. and because we want to see you set up to succeed, and to have a home established into which you can practice hospitality, bear children, and enjoy one another, we will give you gifts. and you will be surrounded by tangible objects, each of which will bring to mind the person(s) who care about you and invested in your life together.”

when you put it that way, it seems silly not to register.

besides all that, i have to admit that once i started setting up the registries, i got really into it! i started seeing our future home come together in my mind’s eye as i selected butter dishes, towels, bedding, and baskets. and there is so much warmth in that, so much satisfaction. these objects that will surround us and suffer our daily uses, will belong to only us, our first set of shared possessions that create the backdrop on which our new marriage will unfold.

so i’ll receive the harvest of my community’s generosity and i’ll clothe my new family in it. and it will be very good.

(as for the old stuff, i’ll pass it on to some younger single friends who are establishing intermediary homes until they get engaged and are gifted by their community in turn).

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2 thoughts on “on gift registries

  1. hey brooke,

    congratulations, i’m so happy for you. it looks as if God has indeed given you a soul mate. what a blessing to find someone you can so completely connect and share with. my thoughts and prayers are with you in this exciting step, and also as you embark on this journey or complete dependence on God. i’ve decided to stay home with cameron and not go back to work, and sometime thats a hard thing when we have to forfeit “earthly pleasures”. but, it has been good to not be so self sufficient, as i’m sure you have felt as well. for when He has called you to something, He provides. i would love to send you my love in a gift so you can see it and be reminded that you have friends all over that are praying for you, so just let me know if you have an online registry anywhere, and an address to send it to!
    love, carly

  2. carly!

    it’s great to hear from you. your words encourage me. i’m happy for you that you get to stay home with cameron. my mentor is forever saying that her children are her primary mission field… a far more glorious title to it than the job may feel like it is sometimes, but true none the less. i’m going to go facebook stalk you now to see pictures of cameron.

    if you are serious about gifting us (which is so unexpected and sweet), you can find us on Target.com and Amazon.com.

    warmly,
    brooke

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