"This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." - 1 John 4:9
Christmas is a time of celebration for the greatest gift of all time. Though it would be some years later when the extent of this gift would be realized, we see this small package of wonderment and we are still in awe.
I remember what it was like to see Christmas through the eyes of a child. I remember the excitement of Santa Claus. Was there much more fun to be had than in the anticipation of the coming of the big guy in red?
Our family has historically held our big dinner, get-together, gift exchange on Christmas eve. Often, Christmas eve, because of the size of our family, would last well into Christmas morning. Needless to say, it was a big night. It was also a little bit of torture for a child. You see, we would spend an hour getting all gussied up to go and sit at the Christmas Eve service for an hour. Then we would come home and wait for the dinner to be set out on the table. Then we would have this big meal that took at least another hour. I remember sitting at the dinner table almost as if my chair was on fire just trying to scarf down the food as quickly as possible because as soon as the meal was over...it was GIFT time. And what child doesn't love gift time?
I never did understand why my family seemed to be the world's slowest eaters when it came to Christmas Eve. I mean, seriously...do adults not care about the presents? Eat already...we've got gifts to open people and I've been waiting all year for this!!!!
While the adults, let me rephrase that, the women, cleared the dishes, the children were assigned to gift distribution duty. Each family member was assigned a special seat and our job (the kids) was to take every present out from under the tree and place them in the seat of the recipient. Of course, we were so eager to find the gifts with our names on them. We would shake them, weigh them with our hands and try and guess what they were...which inadvertently made the process take longer. Then, it was the anticipation of opening the gifts. We would start with the youngest kiddo and go to the oldest and each person would open one gift at a time and we would keep this circle going. Yup...it took hours, but we all wanted to see what others received and played with each other's toys, share stories and laughter. But then...
Oh then it was time for Santa to come. We would race into our Christmas PJ's, make sure the goodies were out for Santa, and then try as hard as we could to actually fall asleep. Of course, we would each be determined to stay awake and catch Santa. Much to our disgust...we never quite made it. It didn't really matter though because we knew he was coming and we couldn't wait to see what he brought us. Christmas morning would be the one morning of the year when we would actually get out of made in a hurry and without a fight and run downstairs. We couldn't wait to get up on Christmas morning, find the gifts and play in great joy and celebration.
As an adult, I now feel this way about Jesus. Do we stay awake on Christmas Eve eager to see the gift God is bringing us? And of all things, he gives us a baby. A little tiny soul with no words, no physical abilities like walking, no sign of skills of healing...just a beautiful angelic baby boy. Did they really know then how great that gift was? For me, Christ is the gift I received long ago that I continue to realize the extent of. This gift is not fully revealed to me yet. The wonderment that is Christ becomes more and more enlightened as my wisdom of him and love for him continues to swell up my heart.
This Christmas, realize how blessed you are for the Divine Intervention that is the gift we received in Christ. A gift that would one day suffer and die for our sins. Is there any better gift? NO WAY! This is the best gift ever! So open your heart as you open this gift from God. Unwrap the divine love, wear excited merriment on your face and go forth like that child who just got the gift they've been "waiting their whole life" for. This is a gift with no need for return or exchange...take care of it and don't be afraid to take it to show and tell. :)