Do you remember the lyrics to Santa Claus is coming to town?
He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
Listening to that song as a child embedded the idea in my head that if I wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t get any presents.
Every year on Christmas day, I woke up early and peaked in the living room to see if I saw anything different setting in the floor. I listened carefully for voices and sounds of cooking utensils hitting the sides of glassware and the click, click, click of our old gas oven.
If the house was quiet, I would climb back into the bed wondering, when they would get up. The suspense was unbearable.
I will never forget the year that I woke up early, just like every child, excited to see what I got for Christmas. My grandparents ushered me into the living room and there under that ornately decorated tree were gifts for everyone but me.
I checked every gift tag.
My heart sunk.
Tears filled my eyes.
My countenancegif changed from excitement to desperation and my little body drooped in disbelief.
Immediately my grandmother gave me a warm hug and said everything would be okay. “There’s always next year Sissy!” “Come on, let’s go get some breakfast.”
I hesitantly followed her into the kitchen and there under the smaller Christmas tree that she had assembled for the first time I saw presents.
I was afraid to ask. I wouldn’t dare investigate. I couldn’t stand the risk that maybe there wasn’t anything under this tree for me either.
Softly, my grandmother pushed me toward the tree. Guided me to look, and to my surprise every gift was for me. I leaped with joy and relief. Yet, I was confused. Why were my gifts not under the tree in the living room?
At this time, my grandparents shared their disappointment in my recent behavior. Telling me they wanted me to learn a lesson. Gifts are not a necessity, they’re a luxury. Gifts are earned or given out of unconditional love. I, according to them, needed some delayed gratification to help me grasp that concept.
I do not recommend this teaching method. My grandparents loved me dearly. They reared me for Pete sake, sacrificing their life for me. They used the only trick they had in their bags and believe me, I have never forgotten that Christmas.
As adults, we know that Santa is not coming with his big bag of gifts. He does not know when I’m sleeping or awake and he could care less if I’ve been good or bad.
At the same time, there is someone who wants to see that childlike smile on your face this Christmas.
He has wrapped a gift just for you.
The gift is priceless. No appraiser can assign it an appropriate value. It’s been around for centuries, yet it’s current. It’s warm and fuzzy but it is a firm foundation. You don’t have to worry about its batteries running low. It is everlasting. This gift is one of a kind. No one can duplicate it. It cannot be purchased. It has been tailor made just for you yet it is available to anyone who will accept it.
Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift [which is precious beyond words] II Corinthians 9:15 AMP
God’s unconditional love for us is so deep that he gave his only son and his son gave his life for our salvation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)
In this gift giving season, let us be conscience of the fact that we give because we have been given unto. We don’t deserve it. We have not earned it by our good behavior. It is simply a gift of love.
For that reason, we are called to give. It does not matter the size of the gift or the cost thereof. It’s the love that is demonstrated through the gift that counts.
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17
My co-worker knows how busy my schedule is, so she offered to wrap my gifts.
All of them!
She had me to load them in my car, and bring them to work so that she could take them home and wrap them. Believe me when I say she wraps presents better than anything I’ve very seen. My family is going to know I didn’t wrap them. This sacrifice of her time was a perfect gift for me. It fit my needs and will put a smile on many faces. Those gifts are wrapped in love.
What are you wrapping in love this gift giving season?
Are your gifts given unconditionally?
Are you taking this time of year to share the greatest gift with those in your sphere of influence? Are you giving them Jesus?