On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
- Matthew 2:11
“It’s not too early to give some things away this Christmas. Not just on Christmas Day, but during all the days leading up to December 25. We could call these daily gifts ‘our Christmas projects.’ Maybe one per day from now til’ then. Here are a few suggestions:
- “Mend a quarrel.
- Seek out a forgotten friend.
- Dismiss suspicion.
- Write a long overdue love note.
- Hug someone tightly and whisper, ‘I love you so.’
- Forgive an enemy.
- Be gentle and patient with an angry person.
- Express appreciation.
- Gladden the heart of a child.
- Find the time to keep a promise.
- Make our bake something for someone else. Anonymously.
- Release a grudge.
- Speak kindly to a stranger.
- Enter into another’s sorrow.
- Smile. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
- Take a walk with a friend.
- Lessen your demands on others.
“Let’s make Christmas one long extended gift of ourselves to others. Unselfishly. Without announcement. Or obligation. Or reservation. Or hypocrisy.
“This is Christianity, isn’t it?
“When you give yourself, the gift never has to be returned.”
- Charles R. Swindoll, The Finishing Touch
I think Rev. Swindoll’s list had a different gift for each day of the month, more than 25 at any rate, but since Christmas is about a week away, when this is scheduled to be posted, I have enough listed to last into the new year unless you do more than one each day.
But should it stop there?
To be honest, I have had a little Ebenezer Scrooge in me for a number of years concerning Christmas. The commercialization of Christmas is totally out of hand. There are probably more non-Christians that celebrate Christmas than Christians, just for the concept of “Peace on Earth,” whatever that means to them, and the gift giving. With Christians celebrating Christmas as the minority, is it really a religious holiday? Rick Larson, of bethlehemstar.com, postulates that the wise men indeed visited Jesus on that first 25 December, but even he suggests that the baby was born in June, give or take. Lee Strobel said in a video on his new book, The Case for Christmas, that Jesus was probably born in May or June because the shepherds were watching their sheep by night.
But a recently televised sermon by David Jeremiah got me to thinking. He said that the gift giving around the holiday could not be lavish enough considering the gift God made for us that is celebrated on this day.
So, there may be backlash from the “gifts” on Rev. Swindoll’s list. People are grumpy this time of year. During the hustle and bustle of this seemingly accursed holiday season, you may be treated poorly when you wish someone well or you smile (of course, from a safe distance, since no one can see the smile through the mask). Number 7 above should be avoided if you are the one that made them angry. My wife does that to me after she has poked me enough to cause a reaction. Her ‘gentleness and patience” quickly becomes condescension, thus further poking of the bear. The hug might be only allowed if with someone in your immediate family, depending on the rules in your state. No one should share a virus as being one of their Christmas “gifts.”
I left the last dozen “gifts” off Rev. Swindoll’s list, but here is an assignment, if you choose to do so. Come up with a dozen ways of showing God’s Love to others and do them for those around you. Be creative and spread the Love of God.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.