Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Gifts

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
December 11, 2008

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. -Matthew 2:11 NIV

The definition of the word “gift” means something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned. The first gifts of Christmas were the ones that the Three Wise Men gave to Jesus. They were gold, frankincense and myrrh. Now, over 2,000 years later, the tradition of gift-giving continues. Our western culture heavily promotes Christmas as a time for gifts, while the true celebration of Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus, often gets misplaced in our current world. God sent us His Son, Jesus and that is the greatest gift of all, the gift of love. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:2 NIV

This Christmas, for our family, will be like so many in the past. We find ourselves scaling back more and more on the gift giving. Now that we are all spread out, we realize it is truly a gift if most of us can come together for a few days of love and fellowship. I am looking forward to a walk on the beach. Just me with the grandchildren so we can catch up with one another. Our special time. And at Christmas Eve services, I cherish looking down the row at my family and seeing those I love in church together. We adore the ride through the neighborhood to see the houses decorated in lights in our convertible with a handful of homemade cookies (the children refer to our car as the sleigh). And so that is what we give each other. Our time and love. That, and a few homemade items made from the heart. We share our gifts and talents in that way. Stained glass tree ornaments, framed photography, paintings, crafty- type things. And this year will be some simple crocheted scarves and throws to warm my family. Many prayers and blessings have been said while doing this handwork. Unknowingly, they will be wrapping themselves in not only colorful yarn, but in prayers of protection, abundance, promotion, good health and happiness. That they would feel peace and God's Love surrounding them...and oh yes, a Mother's Love, too. A quote by Augusta E. Rundel says, “Christmas--that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance--a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”

The spirit of Christmas is not measured in the amount of gifts given and received, but in the love that surrounds us and most importantly, the love that passes through us to others. His Love.

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