Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Presents We Remember

"What did you get for Christmas?" We can hardly help but say it. "What did Santa bring you?" we ask the little kids. They give us a list of toys, scooter, bike, Wii, guitar. . . while older and wiser voices say, "Santa brought me you, all of you here for dinner."

What Christmas gifts do you remember best? Were they your first bike or the surprise visit from a family member? Was it a hand-made item like, "A Christmas Mix for Mom" -always my favorite cd of the year, or a hand-made candy dispenser from someone's wood shop? Often we can list unique gifts we've received but even more we remember those special gifts we've given. If you've spent weeks knitting the perfect gift, creating a scrapbook of an event to give, finding just the perfect addition to someone's collection, or making a recipe box down to the sanding and stain, then you are likely to remember a gift you've given more than one you've received. What was the best gift you ever GAVE?

For all the gifts we give and receive we often get the greatest joy for the ones we've given away. We may not even know how they were received but remember all the effort than went into finding or making it perfect. There is great satisfaction in knowing you gave just what was needed. That your work brought surprise and joy into someone's life. On those occasions we touch the joy God must experience each time we give thanks for Christ's birth. 

This most wonderful gift, a life lived among humans that blessed all generations is the best Christmas gift ever. Jesus came, not to die, but to teach us how to live. Every time we listen and follow his WAY, God's gift is received again and it blesses the earth with shared love just as God intended it.

In this Christmas season I hope you remember the gifts you've given and those who gave to you. I hope you look back with long perspective and forward with the hope for love that continues to give itself away. Then you will be a living Christmas gift.

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