I love this time of year! There is this expectation that comes with celebrating Christmas. Whether you celebrate the birth of our Lord or looking to Santa to bring gifts, there is just something about this time of year that no matter what happened prior to this time, there is excitement in the air.
This year has been a whirlwind of decisions and emotions. There has been leaving and cleaving for our baby girl. There has been leaving friends and finding new friends. There has been a stretching in our hearts that only could have happened by all that we have gone through in this year. And at this season, we are being stretched more.
I have to admit that I didn’t want to write all of this out. It would mean that I would have to acknowledge my own sinfulness and desires for gifts. Like most people, I love gifts! I feel very special! I am special! However, this Christmas season, I am looking at gift giving from a different perspective.
I read an article where some parents had decided that their children would not be getting gifts under the tree because of their behavior. They wanted their children to understand the importance of obedience, of giving and the gratefulness of receiving. There have been pros and cons to this. But no matter the opinion of either, this is their choice because they are the parents.
Some would say that we made a mistake. Some would say that we missed God in timing with this move. However, if I am to look at things the way my heavenly Father looks at them, I would have to say that as my parent, He knows me pretty well.
There will not be many gifts under the tree this year, at least not the kind most people will get. I am being asked to have a different perspective. This year under our tree will be the gifts that have been given to us by our heavenly Father. The gifts that won’t spoil or be thrown out or re-gifted. The gifts under our tree will be those that last for a lifetime even eternity when salvation happens.
Through this year, we have been given many gifts. The gift of friendship. The gift of a new son-in-law. The gift of the mountains. The gift of love. The gift of family. The gift of surrender. The gift of joy in the midst of hard times. The gift of understanding oneself a little better. The gift of breakfast in bed. The gift of giving of ourselves. The gift of fireside chats and cookouts. The gift of friends sharing a meal.
Our gifts to others will be simple, yet heart felt. It will be packed with all the love in our hearts for them. And isn’t that what Christmas is really about – The love that was shown to us by a baby in a manger? That is still the greatest gift of all! No matter what happens in this world, His love will continue to fill my heart so that I can love others. Merry Christmas!