A Gift

Here we are. That time of year when we celebrate thankfulness and the birth of our Savior. Unfortunately, many have fallen victim to the self-imposed stress of finding the perfect gift for all of those people on a list. Gift giving has become a task to be checked off. Gift giving has become a self-imposed obligation.

From today until Christmas Eve we will hear the marketing schemes of retail-land. Please don’t misunderstand me – I love this season. I love reflecting on what God has done for me during this past year. I love thinking about the people in my life. I love the smells of a roasting turkey and baking pie. I love watching the twinkling lights. I do not like being manipulated into purchasing items – many of these items are completely impersonal to the recipient. I do not like hearing of people dreading this season due to the stress or feeling lonely during this blessed season.

Considering all of these things made me wonder – “what is a gift”? Here is what came to my mind.

>It is a visit and time spent with a person who might be lonely, home-bound or isolated.
>It is a written or spoken heartfelt word of encouragement.
>Maybe you heard someone mention a trinket or an act of service that they like. Provide it if you can.
>Cook something for someone that you know they love.
>It is a smile or a kind word.
>In invitation to share a meal.
>Tell someone what they mean to you or what you admire about them.

A gift is not about the money spent or just merely getting that person checked off of your list. A gift is a representation of thoughtfulness. It says “I think about you – you are important to me”. It says that I have been paying attention to you and have noticed your likes, dislikes, hobbies, favorite color or food. It speaks to the person’s heart because it tells them that you truly value their presence in your life. Don’t get caught up in the manufactured pressures of this season. Enjoy the season and the precious people that are part of your life.

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