Proverbs 18:16 “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”
Today was my first day off in since the holiday rush began. I am a dog groomer by trade and this time of year can be very stressful. I used to work right up until Christmas Eve. There were even years when I worked ON Christmas Eve. The insanity in that can’t be overstated. Now I close for two weeks at Christmas time. So today I slept in, which in and of itself is very unlike me. After a nice, quiet morning devotion time, I ventured out into the holiday chaos. What an idiotic thing to do. I should have just jabbed myself in the eye with a spoon. It would have been less painful.
First stop was the bank to deposit the checks from last week. Homemade chocolate chip cookies and cider in the lobby. Yum Yum. For the fees they charge, I should have had Godiva chocolate and a martini but that’s another story. Then on to the post office. (I know. What was I thinking???) Before leaving the house I said a nice long prayer asking God to help me get through the day without losing my mind or my temper. I think He was feeling sorry for me because front row parking and an empty lobby awaited me. About 2 minutes after I got there, the floodgates opened and there were lines everywhere. Thank you, thank you for hearing my prayer. In and out in under five minutes. Must have been a record. Then I made the critical error of heading to the shopping center. Not the mall, because I am not that crazy. Just the shopping center with all the big box stores. I thought perhaps it would be less crowded. Apparently so did about half a million other people. 3 hours later and several hundred dollars in behind me, I arrived home grumpy and tired. Of course along the way, I ate a healthy meal of a corn dog and a slushy at Sonic. That soooo helped my crashing blood sugar.
This year, sweetheart and I decided that we are done with the big giant family gift giving fiasco. With everyone being grown, it’s time that we started sharing our blessings with those in need. As I picked out a gift for each child, I thought of the Christ child and the gifts that He gave us from the moment He was born. First of all, as He was growing up, there was no Christmas tradition so He didn’t have the tree, the chaos, the food, the decorations. I am not even sure that birthdays were celebrated back then so He probably didn’t get a lot of gifts after the first gifts He received from the wise men. And that was when He was two years old. Knowing two year olds, I am sure He didn’t get much excitement out of some oil and some yellow rocks. I am sure He had more fun playing with the box they came in. We forget sometimes that Christ was raised in a humble household just like all the other boys in His family. They weren’t showered with gifts or food. Christ was the gift. But it would be many years before we came to understand the importance of that gift.
I have to say that I was disheartened by the lack of Christ in the Christmas preparations I saw going on today. Listening in on people’s conversations, I felt sorry for their materialistic approach to the holidays. Searching for that toy that their child must have or they would be miserable Christmas morning. Really? Is that what Christmas has come to? I will be really disappointed in my family if they are in anyway disappointed at their gifts on Christmas morning. For Christmas morning is about hope. It’s about the gift of Christ’s love and the gift He gave to us all. My gift to them is given because I love them. Because they bring joy into my heart. Because my life would be incomplete without them. It is the same as God’s gift to us of His son Jesus Christ. He gave Him to use because he loved us. Because He would bring Joy into our hearts. And because our lives would be incomplete without Him. May the joy and peace of Christmas be upon you and your family. May we all remember that it’s not about the gifts. It’s all about the Gift!