December is always a whirlwind of planning, prepping, and sometimes puzzled as to what gifts to buy. Fortunately I don’t have an extremely long list, but I do try to buy gifts that have purpose and meaning. And, no, I’m not one of those who buy gifts early and store them away. I would inevitably spend far more money than I should because I would forget those stowed away purchases.
Our gift giving at Christmas is in direct relation to the gifts that the Wise Men brought Jesus upon his birth. For centuries now people all over the world have held this time honored tradition of gift giving. But have you ever considered the gifts you are born with, or the gifts given to us from God.
Far too often the gifts we unwrap on Christmas morning are long forgotten by the time the New Year rolls around. So what are some lasting gifts that can make a difference?
The best gifts we can give are learning to use the spiritual gifts that are born within us. The blessings we can share with others with these special gifts are abundant. But we have to use these gifts for them to mean anything. If we don’t learn to use them, then we have nothing to share. Maybe the best gift we can give this year is to discover these God-given gifts and use them to honor the Christ Child.
Linda Douty in her book, Rhythms of Growth has some great thoughts on cultivating our gifts during this holy season.
- Kindness — We can shower others with affirmation, encouraging the flickering candle of their best selves to burn more brightly.
- Patience — We can be more tolerant when things go awry.
- Peace — We can fill the atmosphere with our own sense of peace, a calm amid the chaos, so that it summons the peace of others.
- Goodness — We can focus on the positives, rather than the faults, of those around us.
- Generosity — We can give our full attention to each person, one at a time, not omitting even the most troublesome.
- Self-control — We can commit ourselves to no outbursts, no irritating reports.
- Faithfulness — We can be true to the blessed values of the Christmas season.
- Joy — We can be the source of smiles, laughter, and appreciation.
- Love — We can sift every thought, word, and action through the filter of “Is it loving?”
Merry Christmas to you and yours…and may all your Christmas wishes come to life!