When the speaker at a Christmas luncheon I attended last week mentioned that she was fighting a “bah humbug” Christmas attitude this year I could relate. Instead of celebrating with my kids I am caring for my parents. Although I planned on sending Christmas boxes to my Marine sons in Afghanistan and Okinawa, due to recent moves and mix ups I can’t send their goodies because they haven’t been able to send current addresses. I don’t have clue how to bless my Arizona daughter and my North Carolina daughter-in-law. And to top it all off, I accidentally sent my Maryland daughter’s family’s Christmas gift to my parents’ address. So much for my children’s and grandchildren’s Christmas!
As I sat there feeling like a “Holiday Mom” failure, I turned my attention to my family with whom I would be spending Christmas—my parents and my special needs sister. I had already bought a small gift for my sis, but what was I to get Mom and Dad? “Lord, I have no money, and even if I did, what would I give my parents for Christmas?
I sat there contemplating a solution, when the Lord spoke to my heart: “You are the gift.” I thought to myself “Is that enough, Lord?” Then almost immediately, I heard the speaker confirm the word in my heart when she challenged us to “be the present” to others this Christmas.”
“But what does it mean to be a present?”
Throughout the rest of the day, I examined my mindset and attitude as I thought about what it would mean to “be a gift.” And over the next few days the expression took on new meaning.
“Being a gift” gave me a new outlook as I performed undesirable tasks and dealt with frustrating situations.
“Being a gift” gave me joy as I repainted the old stain glass looking window decoration, and decorated the Christmas tree.
“Being a gift” motivated me to “get to know” the people around me as I waited “forever” in the customer service line. (It’s amazing how four strangers can part as friends after thirty minutes of sharing life!)
“Being a gift” challenged me to love the “unlovable” and bless “my enemies.”
But most importantly, “being a gift” made me more aware of the greatest Christmas gift ever given—a gift that was wrapped in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, and later nailed to a cross—a gift that now resides in my heart and transforms my life so that I too can be a gift. Yes, this Christmas I can be “a gift” because I have been blessed with “a gift,” who is also the giver of all gifts—My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.