You’ve made your gift list and planned your Christmas shopping budget. You’ve looked at your calendar to time your purchases. You’ve shopped around for the best prices. But you still have a problem: You have that one person on your list who already has everything. What gift do you get that person for Christmas?
We all have that one person on our list. Of course, that person doesn’t really have everything, but for whatever reason, they are so difficult to buy for. But you want to get that person something.
Here’s a tougher situation: What if you threw a birthday party for your child, and all the guests got a present, but not your child. Isn’t that what most of us do at Christmas time? Seriously, let’s think about it. At Christmastime, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. By giving gifts. To everyone, except the One whose birthday we are celebrating! Unless you are in that small minority who have already figured this out.
What do you get the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior who already has everything? This can be a huge teaching moment in your family every Christmas. Through the traditional Christmas celebrations, we exchange gifts because the Magi (wise men from the East) brought gifts to Jesus. They brought gifts to Jesus. I think it’s wonderful to exchange gifts with family, loved ones and friends. But shouldn’t we give something to the One whose birthday we celebrate?
Some Gift Ideas
- Sacrifice some money you set aside for gifts by contributing through a local church or mission that helps needy families at Christmas. Involve your children in the process so they can see the way you sacrifice, because that’s what you are teaching them.
- Volunteer some time at a local church, mission or shelter during the Christmas season. If allowable, bring your children.
- Take your children to visit people in the nursing homes or those who are bound to their homes. Loneliness is a serious problem for many during the holidays.
- Invite a single mom or dad and the children to celebrate Christmas with your family.
- Find a foster family to help give Christmas to their foster children. Remember that most of the time, foster support does not include funds for Christmas.
- Become a foster or adoptive family.
- Make a commitment to God to eliminate a sin or a harmful habit in your life. Surrender it to Him and ask for His strength to overcome.
- Right a wrong you have done to someone else. Seek reconciliation. Make restitution if necessary.
Give For the Right Reason
Anyone can do these things. One doesn’t necessarily need to be a Christian to do these things. But Christmas is a Christian celebration. Christmas belongs to Christians. It is Christ-mas. Let’s keep it that way by giving these things, and others, for the right reason: that God Himself has given the greatest gift of all. The gift of eternal life available only through Jesus.
So when we give of our money, or our time, or ourselves, let us give because God first gave to us. And let us use every moment we can during the Christmas season to teach our children about the true Gift of Christmas. It’s up to us to reinforce that this holiday (this Holy Day) is about Jesus. He is the emphasis. He is the reason. Not the gifts under the tree. Not the busyness of shopping. It’s all about Jesus, and Him alone.
What is one gift you can give to Jesus this Christmas? How can you use this gift and Christmas to teach your children about the magnitude of God’s love? How can you make Christmas a sacred and worshipful time in your family? I’d love to read your responses.