Who in the world would wait until Christmas Eve to do their Christmas shopping? I find it hard to believe the statistics that show December 24th is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, so one season I decided to venture out to the stores and see for myself. I usually have my Christmas list complete by Thanksgiving to avoid the crowds, so even though I was elbow to elbow with anxious shoppers, I didn’t feel the same angst that seemed etched on their faces.
I traveled to my favorite department stores and picked through a few stocking stuffers. Low and behold, I saw three of my in-laws scrambling for gifts. I picked up a few items and went to stand in the check-out line about sixteen people deep. Maybe this was the “season to be jolly” but the people in line at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve were anything but cheerful.
Amazingly, they were talking to each other. Strangers who normally would never speak to each other in a checkout line were chatting away about Christmas plans, families, special purchases, and where to find great last minute bargains. I enjoyed listening to the friendly banter. It seemed the shoppers were bonding by a common cause—get the shopping finished today!
The young lady in front of me was laden down with five large rolls of very expensive wrapping paper. She turned to me and said, “I can’t believe I’m spending over $25 on wrapping paper. It seems like such a waste for something that’s going to be torn off and thrown in the trash tomorrow. But at least I won’t have to get back in that traffic and go to another store.”
I didn’t bother telling her about the paper I saw on sale for one-fifth the price she was about to pay. By the look on her face, the $20 saving wouldn’t be worth the trip. Instead, I said, “Oh, it is expensive, isn’t it? But it will look lovely under your tree.”
“Thanks,” she said. “I think it’s pretty, too.”
Musing over the idea of wrapping paper took me back to the origin of the gift giving tradition. We give gifts at Christmas because the wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus. But were they wrapped? I don’t think so. I didn’t even remember wrapping being mentioned in the Christmas story at all…except in two places.
When baby Jesus was born: While they were there [Mary and Joseph], the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available to them” (Luke 2:6-7 NIV).
And then the angel said to the shepherds: “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12 NIV).
The New Living Translation says it this way: And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Ah, the first Christmas gift was wrapped indeed.
As I watched the young lady dash to her car with her shiny gold paper I thought, “Maybe that expensive paper is not such a waste after all.”
As you look at the beautifully wrapped gifts under your tree this year, remember that the most important gift of all—the one that was wrapped just for you—is the Christ Child Himself.
Dear Jesus, my heart is full today just thinking about that first Christmas Day. Thank You for taking on the form of man, for humbling Yourself and leaving Your throne just for me. I am wrapped in gratitude pondering Your amazing gift. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What does it mean to you that Jesus…the first Christmas gift…was wrapped for you? Leave a comment and let’s share.
Read Luke 2 from a different translation of the Bible than you’re used to, and see if any words jump out that you’ve never considered before.
Need something special to read on Christmas morning? Click here to print out Sharon’s 1 Corinthians 13 Christmas which has been read all around the world.
There are no words to express how thankful I am for Jesus! I love your devotional, our one true gift of life, wrapped in swaddling cloths. Thank you Sharon. Merry Christmas blessings of love, joy, and peace.
I am so overwhelmed that we celebrate first, the gift itself; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This day was put aside, even though we’re not sure it is the day of His birth, but as Christians, it is the day reserved to give Him all honor and praise.
Blessed “Christ” day to us all.
Thankful that His gift of Himself gives me hope and assurance…I can face life boldly, without fear of the future
My love is with Him & celebrating His birth in Heaven. Thank you Lord for coming to save our souls
That Jesus was wrapped for me, I’d be like the wise men , who had traveled afar and followed a star to humbly kneel before baby Jesus and offer him the world’s best, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
I love this! I am terrible at wrapping! I have a friend who can make a package look like the greatest jewel. I always envy her. Maybe, I can now just know the Gift was wrapped with live.
It means that I have that wonderful gift everyday of Christ in my life!!! It is so nice to share his love everyday through our personal experiences!!
Jesus Christ-Love in Action, a babe born in a manger, is Himself the perfect Present every year for me and for everyone: Luke 2:11 ✝️
I tried the link above to find the following but it went to other resources? Help!!
“Need something special to read on Christmas morning? Click here to print out Sharon’s 1 Corinthians 13 Christmas which has been read all around the world.”
To know that God gave His only son for me makes me feel blessed. He loves me that much. Thank you dear God and thank you Holy Child for saving my soul.. May voices be lifted up this Holiday Season and songs of praise be heard over this nation, praising our Savior. Thank you Dear, Dear Jesus.
Thank You Jesus!!
NO WORDS could EVER Be SPOKEN to EXPRESS what JESUS did for US. AMEN. THANK YOU SO JESUS.
Christ is so Good; Thank You Everlasting Father for the gift of Emmanuel & for this season to remember & celebrate Him all to Your glory in His Wonderful Name🎄🌠🎁🎂
Ms. Barbara, in response to your question about the ‘1 Corinthians 13 Christmas’..It can be found on that page of resources that pops up when you hit ‘click here’ above. Scroll down on that page under ‘Favorites’ to the 5th listed link, & it should redirect you to a page to complete and submit for a download of the resource. Hope this helps : )
Merry CHRISTmas to you all!!!
I just read Luke 2 in The Passion Translation. It’s so rich with the history of the Word and gives a deeper understanding of all the symbolism and prophecies about Jesus’ birth.
The greatest gift-Jesus, wrapped for me. I have no words for the gift of My Savior, other than how grateful I am. It is wonderful and unfathomable how much He loves us! May you all have a blessed Christmas!
What a wonderful part of Gods gift to us. As I think about the wrapping I realize that in Oder for us to receive the gift God gave us, we do have to unwrap it! And oh how much thanks we owe the gift giver. Thank you for sharing your heart and this message. Your words always speak to me…
It means that he presented Himself innocently and humbly and gently where we don’t feel inadequate obligated or pushed/forced to accept. He presented Himself in a manner that tells us that He is not pompous or proud but simple and lowly. That way we can all relate to Him and worship Him as He is. It’s a privilege and an honor to have a Sovereign Noble Royal Majestic Powerful God presented as a gift to mankind.
The swaddling cloth reminds me Jesus was born to die and rise again. He was wrapped in grave cloth in ordered that I would be clothed in His righteousness. Hoshiana! Immanuel has come!