“…and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” -Acts 20:35
As we head into Christmas this weekend, I think back to when I was a child and was so excited to see what would be under the tree for me on Christmas morning. However, I was also excited to see how my parents would react to the gifts that I was giving them, whether it was something I had taken great pains to create for them, or if it was the 30th tie I had given my father.
I am so thankful to have parents who taught me and my siblings the joy of giving to others. While yes, it was exciting to receive presents (unless it was underwear), we loved seeing what each other had received. While some of my friends would just rip into their gifts and have it be over in five minutes, it was our tradition to take turns opening gifts so that all could watch and appreciate each other and appreciate what others did for us. We got to see their reactions, laugh together over a funny gift, ooooh and aaaah over a special present that took time and effort, remember something Aunt Edith once made for us, or something Grandma once said. We just enjoyed each other, and reminisced about family far and wide.
Of course, the whole reason the day exists is to celebrate the birth of Christ, which led to His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Together my family reflects on His goodness to us as well. Ultimately the gifts are all from Him. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
So, as you gather with your own family this Christmas, make it a time of selflessness. Spend time reflecting on the fact that Jesus gave of Himself to us, and in turn, give generously to those around you.
(Just don’t give underwear.)