On Christmas morning I’ll be knee deep in wrapping paper (can we recycle that?) relishing all the gifts given to me by my loved ones. Hooray for Christmas! Of course, I can’t deny that I am even more excited to give than to receive. I have to resist the urge to yell, “Open mine first!” because I’m over the age of 10. But, really, I want everyone to open my presents first because I give great gifts.
For me, gift giving is an art. I start early (like June) and continue my quest until Black Friday to find the perfect presents for everyone on my list. I’m like a huntress zeroing in on my prey as I peruse through clearance aisles, scour Sunday ads, and end my shopping with a Black Friday finish. When I can’t find that special something for that special someone, I make it. Chances are everyone will get SOMETHING I made (probably knitted socks. Sorry to spoil the surprise, but they’re really cool socks!) Handcrafted gifts are my favorite gifts to give.
I love seeing that “look”. You know what I mean—the eyebrows raised, eyes widened, mouth gaping look that says, “Wow! I can’t believe this is for *me*!” It’s more than a pat on the back for a job well done; it’s a satisfaction deep in the heart that delights in the joy of a loved one. It’s saying, “Here’s a tangible object that shows you how much you mean to me.” I love that.
You know who else likes to give gifts? God! And I’m not just talking about the gift of Baby Jesus or the gift of eternal life. I’m talking about ordinary things like a flock of crows and ravens on an early Friday morning (see post), an amazingly beautiful sunset that seems as though it was created just for you (it was!), and those little things that happen in our lives that take our breath away…unexpectedly. One of my favorite verses, James 1:17, says it like this: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Since humans reflect the image of God, I believe we share some of the same feelings as the Almighty. So I can just imagine Him waiting for us to get that “look,” too. We’re just going about our daily lives. Suddenly, we are captured by beauty divine in the smile of a stranger, by a car accident that didn’t happen, by a flower so lovely we sigh, or by a touch of kindness that penetrates our souls. Maybe it’s a thought or a realization or a song. Whatever the present, it is from God…and sometimes He uses people to give us those gifts. When we give to others on Christmas morning, not only do we honor the gift of Jesus to humankind, we also reflect the very image of God giving to us. And He enjoys seeing that “A-ha!” look on our faces as much as we enjoy seeing it on the faces of others.
Happy gift giving, my dear friends, and give as though every good and perfect gift comes from the Father…because it does. Merry Christmas!