Saturday, December 5, 2020

 The Sweater

Christmas time is stressful.  It always feels like there is plenty of time to buy all of the necessary Christmas gifts, but inevitably, I end up scrambling to make all of the last minute purchases in time.  One year the final Christmas gift arrived on Christmas morning…(I gave the Creative Memories associate who personally delivered my item an extra generous tip of $1.00…doubling my standard donation).  Once I had the package in hand, I scurried the item away…wrapped it…and then watched my wife tear it open 45 seconds later. 

Last second gift purchases can be some of the most memorable…and most often returned…including the Grinch jammies given to one of my daughters last year.

I suppose I come by it honestly.  My father once gave my mother a XXXXL Sweater one year.  That’s right…you did count the correct number of X’s correctly.  That didn’t go over well.  However, it was extraordinary to see how the sweater was able to be repurposed as a portable fish house.

We have all had experiences of receiving good gifts…and some not so good gifts.  There have been a few rare occasions when I have scored on the gift giving front. Such as the year I gave Sarah some handmade picture frames from an old church pew that her parents given to us from their home church.  Yet, on another occasion, it took me 6 years and 6 attempts to get her a winter coat that she actually liked. the end, she just returned each of my poor offerings and just bought a coat for herself.

Contrarily to the whole 4X fiasco, my dad is actually a good gift giver.  He takes time and thinks about what a person likes…is interested in…and then he gives things that the person wouldn’t normally go and get themselves, but actually find delightful.  One of my favorites is a simple steel shelf that he made.  It screws into a tree…and holds my backpack and my coffee cup.  He combined my love for hunting and coffee and gave accordingly.

I am reminded of what Jesus says in Matthew 7, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I know what you are thinking…”Wow! You just called your dad evil!”

You are right…I did.  But so am I, and so are you…so let’s move on.

The point is…even considering all of the best gifts that we have receive in this world…even the best gifts that we have given…out of love…are nothing compared to the incredible gift of God.  Jesus!

1 Corinthians 13 expresses the incredible nature of love…and 1 John 3, lays out the amazing picture of love, “This is how we know what love is…Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

May you come to see the Gift of God this Christmas…it is a Gift of Love.

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