The Giving of Gifts
Where did this tradition of gift giving come from and why do we do it? These may be questions you have asked, or perhaps others have asked you.
Some believe that it started with the Maji, the learned men who journeyed a great distance to give important gifts to the child, Jesus. Truly this did take place, however, someone else had given a very precious gift first - God had already given the incomprehensible gift of His own Son. John 3:16 explains why: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." God gave first. He gave His own son so that we could become His children. I John 3:16 says, "We know what real love is because Christ gave up His life for us." God gave His Son and the Son gave His life for us. Giving is truly the heart of Christmas: Jesus is the greatest gift.
This year, as you think about giving gifts I pray that you will remember how this all started and have a new joy in your heart as you prepare to give gifts to others. It is all about showing love - not giving to get, not feeling like you 'have' to give, but finding joy and delight in giving as it is a way to show love to the ones who will receive your gifts.
Here's a simple idea you may want to use: As you bake your Christmas cookies, purchase a 'gift' cookie cutter and cut your cookies into this shape. Frost them to look like a package and place them in a bag with a tag that reads, "Jesus is the Greatest Gift." with John 3:16 printed on it. Give them to everyone you know!
May you overflow with a heart attitude of love for others just as Jesus overflows with love for us.