Christmas…..there is just nothing like it! My husband says that I have never grown up when it comes to Christmas, and if that is the case, I hope I never do! I love every single part of it. I love the music, the decorations, the shopping, the baking, the entertaining, the smell, the anticipation of Christmas morning, the Christmas musicals, old Christmas movies and Santa Claus. This year is going to be especially exciting for our family as our precious granddaughter is old enough this year to really be enjoying EVERY aspect of it...the lights, the Christmas characters, the trees. With wide-eyed wonder, everything she sees elicits a "Whassat?!" from her. Then she smiles and responds with "Mo-ah" (that's southern for 'more'....HA!)
For me, the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving. Some call it "Black Friday", but I LOVE it! I have been almost every year since we were married. Some say they would not fight the traffic and the crowds for it. They don’t bother me. It’s all part of it. It gets me in the spirit of Christmas. Some people say I’m nuts….maybe I am, but if so, it’s for a very good reason. You see, the reason that I enjoy all that madness is that I’m shopping for the people I love most in the world. And that gives me great joy!
We often hear it said "It’s the thought that counts". You usually hear that when you get something like that hideous sweater from Aunt Josephine or those tube socks with the red and blue bands at the top from your grandmother. You open the gift, see what it is and immediately think "re-gifting drawer", when someone close leans over and whispers in your ear "It’s the thought that counts". Yes, I see you smiling…you have ALL been there! And it genuinely is because they were thinking of you in the first place and even though their gift might not make your "Top Twenty" in the gift department, they remembered you, they took the time to shop and they spent their hard-earned money on you.
Now I try very hard not to make those kinds of shopping "faux paus", but I’m sure I probably have a time or two. Yet I KNOW in my heart, that I truly do my best to please the people that I am shopping for. I want them to be delighted with their gift. No, in fact, I want them to be extremely excited and happy with it. I want it to be something that they will enjoy, that they will find useful and sometimes even be something that will be a blessing to them. I am thinking of them with love in my heart as I shop…because I treasure them and want the very best for them.
The worst part of shopping is never being able to buy enough. When I am shopping for the ones I love, I want to give them the very best and I want to give them everything I think they would love to have. But, I’m not Bill Gates, soooooooooo…..I can’t. But..as I think of Christmas, and what Christmas is REALLY about, we have all been given the ultimate gift.
God gave us the most priceless gift of all and it came all the way from Heaven. He was thinking of us with a love that cannot be compared to any of our earthly attempts at love. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world [that’s you and me!] that He GAVE His only Son [Jesus Christ] that whoever would believe in Him, would not perish but would have everlasting life." It is my prayer that as you read these daily devotions, that you will realize that even before you open the first gift on Christmas morning, you have already been sent the most precious gift of all….Heaven’s gift….Jesus Christ.
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