If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you (Luke 6:38, NLT)
The countdown to Christmas is on which you can tell by the panicked faces of the many shoppers. Everyone is worried about picking out the right gift or getting that HOT new toy – can I tell you that I am grateful that Belinda is grown. Okay, so the toys/ gifts are a little bit more expensive but they are also a lot more practical. Yes, I miss the wide eyed excitement of Christmas morning – I mean who wouldn’t, right?
Over the last 6 years, since Belinda left for college and our family has dwindled in size – the real meaning of Christmas as started to shine through. It is sad that it took death, separation and major health issues to make me begin to see the real meaning of Christmas. Yes, we went to church. Yes, we sang all of the traditional Christmas carols. Yet, I still was worried about finding the perfect gift. My hubby’s family is not big on gift giving once someone turns 18 years old. We used to call him the “Grinch” for just that reason. They gather for holidays to spend time with each other.
A devotion on ibelieve.com made me think about giving gifts that matter this year – homemade gifts, the gift of time, encouragement and prayer. I think back to the days when I used to make everyone’s holiday gift – holiday table runners, ornaments, etc. It was done because I didn’t have the money to spend on presents but I think some of them were the best gifts. I took the time to think of each person and what would mean something to them. I still like to do the handcrafted gifts, the problem is that I am not the one making them. I have been blessed with friends who make some amazing things so I have been shopping with them instead of making them myself. Maybe this is something that will change next year.
The gift of time is probably the most precious gift to give someone. In this hustle and bustle world, we need to take more time for our family and friends. I think back over the last 2 years, since I stopped working full-time, and realized how busy my life got – forgetting to give the gift of my time to those I love. I am sure my mom would agree. Even though she lives just 1 hour away, I tend to let the busyness of life get in the way of spending time with her.
Belinda’s gift this year is a trip home – the first actually trip home since last Thanksgiving. Yes, we have seen each other but we haven’t actually spent a lot of time together. It will be nice to have her and Ashley at the house for a week – even if they are out and about visiting friends and family. The gift of time – just having her in Jersey.
The gift of time and encouragement – more precious than any material gift. Who do you know that would love these two gifts from YOU? On this day to relax, reflect and recharge – take a moment and remember that the true gift of Christmas didn’t come wrapped up in a box with a fancy bow.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!