Updated: Feb 15
What’s in a gift? Does it represent the person giving it or the depth of his or her feelings toward the person to whom it is being given? While we all have our own opinion, there is one thing on which we can agree – the season of giving and receiving gifts is upon us.
Like many, I have received both great and strange, well-intentioned gifts over the years. I have been given 99-cent flashlights, sweaters with reindeer on the chest, disgusting fruit cakes and even batteries unassociated with a present. My beloved grandmother used to give me a box of Andes mints every Christmas. She thought they were my favorite delicacy, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her I never ate them.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve also given out some odd things myself. I didn’t give a strange gift intentionally. Matter of fact, at the time, they seemed like good gifts.
Every year my wife and I seem to face a Christmas gift dilemma. That rings true for this year, but just yesterday I came home and notified my wife I had a solution. Call me “Kris” if you will – not Kringle, but Columbus – because I had discovered the perfect gift for some close friends of ours who are hosting a Christmas party Friday night.
We were in a quandary about what to give because they are an affluent couple who seem to have every material item you could ever dream of. We don’t have the monetary resources they do, but want to give them something significant. We know the present doesn’t have to be expensive but it does need to convey how much we love and appreciate them.
My inspired idea was to “re-gift” a brass Roman soldier helmet that was given to me as a Christmas gift five years ago. Of all the tangible things I have ever been given, nothing means more to me because it represents the time my family helped underprivileged kids during the Christmas season. I was given the helmet as a token of appreciation for overseeing the project.
As soon as the words left my mouth, my wife raised her eyebrows with a look of skepticism, but I went on to explain my reasoning.
“Honey, just hear me out. I know it’s odd to give something away that someone else gave to you. However, I don’t own anything that I treasure more and to me, that’s the point. Even though I didn’t pay for it, I would be giving my best. For me, I don’t know any better way to show them how much they mean to me. We could write a letter explaining where it came from and why we are passing it on.”
She still was not convinced, so I agreed to order an inexpensive art piece instead.
Just like my gift to our family friends, Christmas day is an opportunity for you to give something significant to your family and friends. God demonstrated this the very first Christmas when He sent His only son, Jesus, into the world. It is the best present we can ever receive and the most costly gift He could ever give. We may not fully understand a gift like this but it is driven by a love so deep, that we have never seen anything like it before.
If you have accepted the free gift of salvation from Christ, then it is your responsibility to pass it on to others and what better time to do so than at Christmas. And if you haven’t received this gift, what are you waiting for? How could you refuse something that someone gave everything they had to give to you the best gift you could ever imagine?
As you give and open gifts this Christmas, remember Christmas is not about the material items, it is about Jesus, a love-driven gift that changes lives.