I have been reminded today, about the gifts of the season. In the midst of the chaos, the busy bodies and greedy fingers, the hustle and bustle and being cut-off one too many times in the stores, I saw something that reminded me where our gifts should go. As I was briefly scanning the large book exhibit in the middle of the store, I came across a book of the Nativity. And as I opened the book and turned the pages, I looked upon a humble manger, on a baby laying on a bail of hay. I quickly glanced in my basket, filled with gifts for friends and family, and wondered why exactly I was buying those gifts. Was my list of people to buy for only in exchange for what I knew those people would be giving me? Or did I buy these gifts because these people need these things? "No, they don't really need these things", I thought, so why do we feel so obligated to do this on Christmas day every year?
As I walked away from the book, I continued to think about the act of giving. How it is something that must truly come from your heart. Not a routine, or something expected because of what you get in return. But something selfless. That is why we should give gifts.
And on this special day every year, the day when our Savior, the Christ was born, we filled our trunks and spaces under the tree with gifts for everyone we love... Everyone but Him.
For many years now, I have heard people taking a stand to keep Christ in Christmas. Some boycott the stores that use the "happy holidays" signs, and complain that religious cards and wrappings are being taken off the shelves. But what if we didn't have these things taken away. What if X-mas was never an option, and the Nativity was displayed on every square of every town. Would we REALLY keep Christ in Christmas?
Think about it. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Christmas? Is it a decorated tree? Red and Green? Christmas cookies? Charlie Brown or presents wrapped just for you? Can you smell that cinnamon smell that you used to smell as a kid? These things are all so wonderful and bring such fond memories to my heart. But we miss the purpose so much, I believe. We spend so much time in a panic, shopping, cooking, entertaining our guests, that we don't take the time to stop and give our gifts to God. And if anyone we know deserves a gift in return for what they have given us, ... it would be Him, no?
This Christmas Season, continue to take a stand to keep Christ in Christmas. But go just a step further. This Christmas, give your gifts to God before you give to anyone else. Praise and give thanks to Him for the sacrifice that we are so undeserving of. Stop before your Christmas dinner and read out of Luke 2 about the Birth of Christ. Sit and sing songs, not only of His birth, but of His death and His resurrection. Take your leftover food and donate it to a Homeless Shelter in Jesus' name. Stop on your way out of town, and give one of your gifts to a family at a domestic violence shelter. Spend a half hour or so, in candle light, just praying and being still. In all that you do, keep Christ in your heart, and don't let the traditions of the world win all of your time and energy. Be sure to give your gifts to God this Christmas, because let's face it, He might be the only one not expecting one from you. Surprise Him.
Have a Beautiful Christmas !
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." - Luke 2:4-11