It’s always great when gift giving and Christmas goes off without a hitch. When I was about six years old, I received a wonderful gift – a doll I had hadn’t expected to receive. I was so ecstatic, I actually named the doll, ‘Merry Christmas’. But then there was my brother’s gift. Oh what a gift! A shiny helicopter – batteries included. There was great excitement as the prop whirred noisily and we stood by waiting for the helicopter to take flight. Disappointment. The chopper never got off the ground.
In adult years, life is often less about gifts and more about getting together. Everything went great this year. A perfect fresh tree, wonderfully mild weather…Christmas seemed to being going great until there was a small gift mix- up about the BIGGEST gift under the tree. The gift had arrived a few days early. It included a big name tag, which no one seemed to read. It was somehow assumed the biggest gift belonged to Grandma, and as she opened it to display a lovely red glass bowl on Christmas Day, she proudly set it out on display. Then came the arrival of my older sister, the giver of the gift, who couldn’t believe her eyes, “How on earth did that get there? That’s not your gift!“
“It was handed it to me…I’m sure it had my name on it,” Grandma answered uncertainly. BIG gift. BIG mix up. But my sister soon resolved the matter by digging out the original wrapping paper and tag from a recycling bin. Labelled correctly. In the Christmas morning excitement, no one had noticed the name tag wasn’t addressed to Grandma. When my youngest sister arrived later the gift was given to her, the rightful owner, although it was roughly rewrapped. All was well that ended well.
When it gets down to it, whatever gifts we receive at Christmas – big or small, doesn’t matter. What matters as we all know – is the ‘real’ gift of family, good health, getting together, and counting our blessings of laughter, love – and the gift of LIFE itself. My older sister heard about the tragic loss of a friend’s neighbour over Christmas. At my church, we heard of an old friend who died in hospital over Christmas after a tough battle with cancer.
As you head into a brand new year, why not take a moment to say ‘thank you for gifts that really matter? My guess is you’ll will have a BIG list too long to keep up with, and in fact, you may realize God has outpoured so many gifts, you will have an overflow to share with others.
The gift of God is eternal life… Romans 6:23
No eye has seen what God has prepared… 1 Corinthians 2:9
…and now…about the gifts of the Spirit… 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
© 2011 S. Michaels From notebook: What Have You Got to Lose?