This Christmas I decided not to spend any money at all on gifts.
Now, before you start thinking I’m a scrooge, let me explain a little further. Instead of going out and spending money I don’t have to buy my family and friends things they don’t need, I used the materials I already had to make something for each person that they will (hopefully) like and use.
It was quite a challenge to figure out what to make everyone. (Rather like a puzzle, but I like puzzles, so it was actually pretty enjoyable.) : ) It caused me, however, to stop and think about each person on my list –their likes and dislikes, favorite colors, whether they would most want a practical or impractical gift– and it surprised me to find that the gifts I came up with this year were much better (at least to my mind) than the ones I bought for each person last year.
There is something about a handmade gift that makes it special. I don’t know exactly what it is, whether it is the thought and time and love that go into it, or the personal touch it adds to the gift, or what it is, but I do know that whenever I have given a handmade gift to someone, it has always been received with that precious look that comes across someone’s face when they receive a gift they really appreciate.
But all this thinking about gifts and people drew my mind to ponder the reason we give gifts at all. I know there are those who find giving Christmas gifts a stressful and tiring experience, as I have in the past, and it seems to me that if we remember the reason for giving, it becomes a more joyful and peaceful experience.
The gifts we give at Christmas time reflect the gift God gave to man by sending His only Son, Jesus, to earth as a baby, who would later die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and be raised to life again, showing His victory over death. Last week in my devotions I came across a verse that helped me to remember the reason for Christmas gifts:
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”
2 Corinthians 8:9
When we give Christmas gifts, it is to remind ourselves and others of the gift of salvation, a gift that cost Christ unimaginable pain and suffering, yet willingly given out of love for us.
May the reminder of His amazing gift bring you all great joy and peace this week!