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 2:00 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 Charismas plans, families, special purchases, and where to find great last-minute bargains. I actually was enjoying listening to the friendly banter. It seemed the shoppers were bonding because of 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 $25.00 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 $20.00 savings 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. Then the words of Luke two came flooding through my mind. “And you shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and 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. Click & Tweet!
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
I’d love to hear your ideas on how to keep Christ the focus of the holidays. Let’s share in the comments.
My son asked why we put up lights at Christmas time. I told him it is to remind us that Jesus is the light if the world. Whenever we pass a particularly bright house, we see who can say “Jesus is the light of the world!!” first!!!
Today I brought candy bags to 3 and 4 yr. old boys at their school. I am in Ecuador, so I had to speak in Jesus telling them about Jesus birthday and that , He loves all the children of the world. Being in a 90% catholic country, I tried to show and tell of his love for them. What a blessing for me and my husband, when we got special “hugs” from the little ones. Have a Merry & Blessed Christmas.
Wonderful reminder of the true meaning and the most precious gift of all and the reason Christmas even exists and is celebrated. I try to remind my kids that this is the reason for gift giving. We are imitating what our creator did in giving us the most perfect gift ever. I never thought of the fact He was “wrapped” as well! Thanks Sharon. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
I keep Christ the focus of the holidays by not ignoring him. I still get up every morning and put him first as I start the day. I l have Nativity sets out in every room so I can stop and pause and remember what Christmas is all about. My favorite is the one that my Mom had made in a ceramic class years ago. It’s special because she is no longer with us but I feel she is with me when I see the Nativity she made. I make sure I read my devotions and end the day in prayer.
I attended a Christmas Gathering at my church. The speaker suggested always incorporating a nativity in your gifts. It allows the children to play I spy, if you will, as they look for Christ throughout the gift giving. I loved the idea and am starting that tradition this year. She said it could be on the wrapping paper, and actual naivety set, or some other creative way.
The way I keep Jesus include at Christmas time, I remind my children it’s Jesus birthday. Let’s celebrate Jesus by having him a birthday party. We go get balloons and place them around the house. We get a nice cake that reads Happy Birthday Jesus. That really makes Jesus the center of his birthday. I ask people, how would you like it to be your birthday. Everyone enjoying themself, having a great time , while your outside looking in, and no one mentions your name. I’m sure that would hurt. Everyone that comes by wants some Jesus cake. The whole party for Jesus opens a door for witnessing.
Merry Christmas to you and your staff
Happy merry wonderful Christmas!! Thank you for the reminder of the reason for the season!! Jesus doesn’t stress over it, and He came to die!! May we all seek Him first!!
O God our Father, YOU are all we need! Please help us put YOU in front of all the other presents. Open our mouths to talk about YOU to our family and friends. Please open the hearts of my family and let them be prepared for Your second coming. Happy Birthday Jesus!! We love.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing your devotions with my children. Thank you, Sharon! Our family, now with a pre-teen and three teenagers, is glad to choose a few families to share blessings with (sometimes anonymously) and we reverently attend a Christmas eve church service. Being a musician, I’m often involved in concerts or programs which glorify Jesus and I love having my family attend these as well. Merry Christmas!
It will not be given on Christmas day, but I am working on a quilt that is destine to go to India for an orphan, when our retired pastor goes there in about a week and a half.