At just a week away from Christmas, I still have not finished my shopping.
It’s kind of funny. We go to so much hassle and inconvenience to give each other gifts. We fight crowds and cold weather. And then what do we do a few weeks after Christmas?
We forget about the gifts.
I think I know why. For all the trouble we go to, and the thought that can go into a gift, we never get the best gifts at Christmas. The best gifts were doled out over the whole year. Those are the gifts that matter so much more than a wrapped up toy.
Some of you survived cancer, or some other disease this year. Some of you walked away from an addiction. Some of you got out of a bad relationship, or started a good relationship. Some of you had children. Some of you put a family back together. Some of you felt happy for the first time in a while. Some of you got a job you really needed. Some of you met Jesus for the first time. And some of you are having a really tough year…but you’re still here. God’s brought you through circumstances you never thought you could survive. And some of you had just a very ordinary year. But I always say the biggest gifts are sometimes that nothing happened!
The funny thing is, sometimes we even forget the really good gifts, and just skim over them, like nothing happened.
Something else I’ve noticed. As a kid, Christmas was it. There was no bigger excitement than the thrill of new things I so desperately coveted. One of my favorite gifts was a Mr. Potato Head. I haven’t felt that way about Christmas, or potatoes in years. Being an adult doesn’t afford so many pure joys as childhood. But it’s those really good gifts that happen thoughout the year that maybe make an adult feel like a kid at Christmas again.
Me? It was a pretty ordinary year. That’s something I’m thankful for. Although it’s not a promotion by any means, I was able to take a new job in a terrible job market. My wife and I haven’t wanted for anything. We’ve been married another year, and I’m still relatively healthy, though I’ve had to start seeing my chiropractor brother-in-law. I built great friendships and I’m part of a church I love. Whatever I open on Christmas can’t compare to that, and I feel truly excited when I think about those big gifts I’ve torn open this year.
I want to hear from you. What were the real gifts you got this year, the kind that made you feel like a kid at Christmas?