I love Christmas, y’al! If you know me at all, this is no surprise.
I love everything about Christmas. I love the Christmas songs on the radio starting the first day of November. I love the Christmas candy. I love the twinkling lights. I love advent. I love spending time with family and friends. And probably most of all, I love giving and receiving perfectly wrapped gifts.
OK. I know this might make me sound vain and materialistic, but give me a second to explain. Raise your hand if you have ever heard of the book “The 5 Love Languages.” If you have not heard of it before, this is a book that helps people to better understand the ways in which they give and receive love. Several years ago I read the book and took the survey and found out that “giving gifts” is my strongest “love language.” Not only do I love giving gifts, but I also love receiving gifts.
When I give a gift to someone, whether it be a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, or a “just because gift,” I want that person to receive that gift as an expression of my love for them. For each gift I give I take time thinking about that person, their interests, what they might enjoy receiving, or what might be useful to them. I put time into shopping for them. Once I have found just the right gift I bring it home and pick out the wrapping paper and ribbons to match. (Yes, there must always be a matching ribbon.) I get excited about giving each gift to the person I love. I anticipate them opening it, hoping so badly that they will genuinely like the gift I have picked out for them.
This is the process I go through with every Christmas gift I purchase. I get so eager wrapping each gift and thinking about Christmas morning!
I recognize that this is not the mentality of everyone who gives gifts on Christmas. I see that for many people it is more of an obligation or a tradition. Even so, I still greatly enjoy opening my gifts on Christmas day. As I open each gift and see what has been gifted to me, I assume that you have picked this item out specifically for me. I receive the gift as an expression of your love to me.
By the time all of the presents have been unwrapped on Christmas day, you have no idea how full of love I feel. This traditional act of gift giving fills me to the brim with gratitude and affection. What may be almost routine to some people is extremely personal and meaningful to me.
Today, as I finish wrapping my final gifts, I will be reflecting on the greatest gift ever given, that is the gift of Jesus Christ. When God sent the gift of Jesus to the earth, God was thinking about each of us. God gave sacrificially on the first Christmas so that we might have hope this Christmas season. God gave a gift of love. God gave us Jesus.
Tonight or tomorrow, as you give gifts and tear open wrapping paper, I encourage you to think about God’s gift of love. Reflect on how a son being given speaks hope, peace, and love into your life.
In the comments below I would love to hear what giving gifts at Christmas means to you. Do you enjoy it or do you think of it as a tedious obligation? Do you love it just as much as I do because you also speak the love language of gifts?