by Linda Veath
A big sigh escaped my lips. Much to my dismay, it was two days before Thanksgiving and I had very little done for Christmas. Yes, Christmas. Usually cookie baking, decorating practically every room in the house, writing the annual letter to go in the cards, and shopping (and wrapping!) presents were all done by this time.
Not this year. I just couldn’t get in the right mood. Almost didn’t care. I admit to feeling very Scroogish about it all. And my thoughts seemed to keep focused on the presents and my long gift list. Why do I get all these gifts for people? Why do any of us give gifts?
Is it to show someone we care about them?
Or to thank someone for helping us?
Is it to bring joy to a lonely person?
Do we spend lavishly, just to show that we can out-give someone?
Or is it simply because it’s “expected”?
I contemplated just tossing my list in the waste can this year when another question popped into my already-overloaded brain. Who started this gift giving thing any way?
Oh. That’s right. God did.
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God was the first gift giver. He created this beautiful world for us. He gave us eternal life. And when we rejected these gifts, He gave us His Beloved Son, Jesus as our Savior.
God’s gifts to us — especially the gift of His Son — are why we give to others. Out of thanksgiving to our Lord. And in sharing God’s blessings with others who need them. If this isn’t the main reason we give gifts — or do anything during Advent and Christmas — then it’s all hollow. Empty. No wonder we get down and frustrated when we try to celebrate Christmas without Jesus. We have lost the true joy and peace of Christmas when our focus isn’t on Jesus.
So, when you give gifts this Christmas, think of the Indescribable gift God has given us. The Baby born in Bethlehem, who would eventually suffer, die, and be buried in our place. The One Who conquered sin and death and rose from the grave that we might all live forever with Him.
He’s why we celebrate Christmas. The reason we give presents.
Lord, we thank you for Your Indescribable Gift. May Jesus Christ be the real reason for all we do this season. Amen.