I love giving gifts. I laugh and call it a sickness sometimes, but when I am out, I find gifts to give others. I like giving to others.
One year when I was little I found this Norman Rockwell plate in an antique shop that I knew I had to get my mom. It had been made to commemorate his cover in 1981 of the Saturday Evening Post for Mother’s Day. I was about two months shy of coming into the world back then, so I couldn’t really celebrate my mom that year. But I knew I had to get her that gift years later when I saw it. I think I even had my sister or my dad take me back to the store to get it a few days later.
I’m not sure if my mom was into Norman Rockwell paintings or plates, but that plate was what I desired above all else to give her in honor of my love for her as my mom.
We get caught up this time of year in gift-giving I think. We weigh the wants with the needs, often stressing over budgets and shopping deadlines. Yesterday I stood in a warehouse helping fill family bags for the Salvation Army Angel Tree. I stood in the vastness of need and saw the hearts poured out to give. To give gifts so that others might feel love, recognition, compassion, joy.
I saw full families of eight children getting large sacks of warm clothes, toys…but they were stuffed with so much more. They were getting the very gift of Christmas. A Christmas where joy will fill a room, parents’ hearts will overflow with gratitude and children will see the love of others gift-wrapped just for them. They may get something they didn’t realize they needed or that they hadn’t asked for…
The very first Christmas we were given something we hadn’t asked for, something we didn’t bargain or bet on. It didn’t come wrapped in the world’s finest wrapping and it most assuredly didn’t come from someone expected. The world worried and groaned that it had been forgotten, yet He ushered life, hope, breath, a sigh of peace into this world through a woman who said yes to the Gift and the Giver.
Maybe this Christmas you are rushing to find the perfect gift, the one asked for and talked about for months. Remember in the busy of life during this time and then in the months ahead (in May when Christmas couldn’t be further from your mind and September when kids are in routine of school) that a gift was given in the most unexpected way, full of a Father’s love for us, in our busy pace and in our sickness, to give us joy and peace and mercy and grace.
He gave from His heart to save ours. That gift. That one gift. It is breathtaking.
For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)