by Tim Howard
The Christmas season may not be enjoyable for everyone but I love it! Not only because of what it represents and the remembrance of Christ’s birth but because of the lights, the love, the laughter and the joy of children.
At our home the Christmas tree has already been erected – the lights are strung and the house has a very festive feel – thanks to my wonderful wife. Christmas is a time for families to unite, people to celebrate, kindness to be demonstrated but let’s not forget or underestimate the power of gifts. Oh THE GIFTS! It’s extremely difficult for children and me as well to celebrate Christmas without thinking about the giving and receiving of gifts.
Maybe I feel the way I do because of all those beautifully wrapped presents I see everywhere or possibly it’s because my childhood was filled with fond memories of Christmas. I loved the toys and my dad made sure we always had at least one under the tree! Maybe it’s because I currently enjoy watching my grandson tear through the wrapping paper and seeing his eyes light up like a Christmas tree when he sees what now belongs to him. Whatever the core reason might be, I’m convinced it’s a great motivation to celebrate the season.
Over the years I have received a variety of gifts – I hope you have as well. Some were expensive and others were cheap. Some I’ve kept and some I’ve re-gifted. Others have made great yard sale items and some are still in my possession to this very day. My most memorable and precious gifts, however, are not necessarily material in nature. They weren’t purchased with money but have influenced me greatly. If you’re looking for the perfect gift or some great gift ideas this Christmas that don’t cost you any money but bless people in a great way – you might consider these five suggestions:
Give people some space. Don’t try to micro manage their lives. This gift is called Kindness.
Give people a break. Everyone needs a second chance. This gift is called Forgiveness.
Give people the benefit of the doubt. When you hear something derogatory about them – think the best instead of the worst. This gift is called Love.
Give people a hand. Refuse to give a hand out but make sure you give people a hand up. We all fall down and need some help now and again. It’s not how many times you fall that counts but how many times you get up. This gift is called Mercy.
Give your family some time. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Play some games. Tell them the story of Christ’s birth, and why He came to live with us. Tell them how much God loves them. This gift is called the gospel or good news.
The Bible tells us that three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They were honoring God who gave to all of us the greatest gift of all – A Savior!
The gifts you share with others this Christmas season don’t need to cost an arm and a leg! If they are from the heart they will be meaningful to people.
May every gift you give be in honor of Jesus. After all, it is HIS BIRTHDAY we are celebrating. Merry Christmas.