img_2887The anticipation of Christmas is drawing near. Presents are being wrapped and excitement is brewing. This week our youngest sat under the tree picking up each present to give it a firm shake as she tries to guess what could be waiting for her to discover. What is inside? It reminded me of my own Christmas memories as a child.

I remember being the first one to wake up. Being the oldest sibling I would creep down the hall to take a peek into the living room to see if Santa had already made his visit. Once I saw that he had come I would glance quickly to see some of the gifts and run back to tell my sister. “Come quick Jess…come quick. Santa came and you are going to love what he brought you.” That’s usually all it would take to stir her awake. Off we would run to wake up our parents. Christmas had arrived and presents were being opened.

Fast forward a few years…I am now a teenager. Christmas morning started to look different. Presents were wrapped not laid out for us to plainly see. This one Christmas I will never forget. I am ashamed to admit this story, but there is so much to learn from it. All of my friends had Dooney and Bourke purses…that’s right the $300+ designer purses, and I wanted one. I told my mom I wanted one and she gasped. I pleaded my case with her that everyone else had one, so I felt I deserved one too. Christmas morning had arrived and my sister and I took turns as we unwrapped each gift. I purposely laid aside the box that looked like a purse box waiting to open it last. I just knew the purse I wanted was waiting on me. The moment had arrived…the last box. I carefully unwrapped it wanting to savor the moment as long as I could. I peeled off the tape on the sides of the box and opened it. There inside was a genuine leather Liz Claiborne purse. I looked up at my mom with disgust and remember saying, “Really…a Liz Claiborne?” My mom burst into tears which was very uncharacteristic of her. I instantly knew I had hurt her but my words had already been said. I couldn’t take them back. My dad stepped in and sent me to my room. There I was on Christmas morning in my room alone as an ungrateful little girl over a purse. I did not get what I wanted, and I had missed the meaning of Christmas completely.

luke-2-11If we are not careful, Christmas can become an overindulged, overspent holiday with no meaning leaving us ungrateful, empty and broken. We must make room for Jesus! In the hustle and bustle of the season, slow down, breathe and consider the real gift that has been given to us. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12

Did you catch that? A Savior has been born TO YOU, Christ the Lord! He is ours to unwrap. There is nothing disappointing about Him. There is no other name above Him. He is the KING of kings and Lord of lords. Celebrate HIM! Make Him the biggest GIFT you receive…and like the shepherds GO and spread the good news. Give HIM away!!!

Merry Christmas!