I love presents! Christmas morning awakens the child within me. There is a little thrill tucked inside the wrapping paper and I just can’t wait to set it free! What will you and I receive this year? Only time will tell. But more to the point, what gifts will we give this year?
This year I want to give gifts that last. Previous experience tells me that in only a few short weeks I will have forgotten what gifts I received and who gave them to me. But I want this year to be different. I want to give the sort of gift that stays in the hearts and minds of the receiver long after the Christmas decorations are put away for another year. To help me in this endeavour, I look to the example of God’s gift to humanity.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. “
The gift of Jesus to humanity gives us a prime example of a wonderful gift. It shows us how to give gifts that will make a lasting impression. Jesus stepped out of heaven and visited us personally. He spent quality time with his people on earth, eating together, laughing together, and imparting his wisdom. But he didn’t just come to say “Hi” and burden us with criticisms. He came with a heartfelt message of love and encouragement. But the gift of Jesus wasn’t only for the people who were his favourites. He came to be a gift to all people. These three aspects of Jesus being a gift to humanity shows us how we can give the sort of gift that lasts. These are:
1. A Quality Time Shared Together
Spend time together with family and friends. Share a meal together. Find out their success stories and tales of woe from the past year. Find out what the people close to you are looking forward to in the year ahead. Listen. Have fun and laugh together. A quality time shared together will last longer in the hearts and minds of family and friends than the physical gifts exchanged.
2. A Message from the Heart
Dig deep and share a little gem from your heart. Tell family and friends what they mean to you and why you love them. Give a heartfelt thank you to a person who did something that meant a lot to you this year. Congratulate someone on one of their achievements in the past year. Love, thanks, and encouragement are ways we can express our appreciation for our family and friends with a gift that builds them up from the inside out.
3. A Helping Hand
In all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, leave a little wiggle room. Be flexible with you schedule and anticipate the opportunity to lend a helping hand. Or go one step further and plan the opportunity into your Christmas routine. Think of someone who isn’t a family member or a close friend. Would they value a quality time shared together? Whould they love to hear a message from the heart? Look for ways to include them in your Christmas gift list this year.
This Christmas, let us extend the usual gift catologue with some gifts that money can’t buy. Let us add to the value of Christmas by following Jesus example: a quality time shared together, a message from the heart, and offering a helping hand.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!