Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV
A friend of mine recently shared something special that they do on Christmas Eve every year and it touched my heart. Every year her family draws names for different family members. The name on the card is designated as your “Love Gift” recipient. Every year on Christmas Eve the family looks for their name with the special “Love Gift” tag. What’s unique about these gifts is that they are not really gifts at all; instead, each specially wrapped package contains a unique sentiment or message for each individual in the family.
When the kids in the family were young, the message may have said, “You are special!” or “Mommy and Daddy love you.” As the family grew older, so did the messages, “You’ve worked so hard in school. Way to go, we’re proud of you!” “Sis, I really appreciate the way you always look out for me.”
When this idea began, my friend made each person in her family a “Love Gift” box that they would keep their messages in year after year. Every year before they open their new “Love Gift,” they will read all of the other messages in the box. Some make them giggle like, “Brother, you are really good at the Mario Bros video game but please let me win once in a while.” Or, “I’m really glad Daddy took off his beard; it was really scratchy.” As the kids matured, so did the subject matter. “Son, you have had a tough year." "I’m sorry you didn’t make the team." "You showed a lot of courage and maturity when you congratulated your friends." "God has a plan for your life and sometimes it’s hard to trust someone else with that plan.” Or, “Mom, you seem really tired lately. I know I don’t say it enough, but I love you and appreciate all that you do for us.”
Every year the family still draws the names of a family member and writes a special message of love or encouragement. What started as a simple idea has become the highlight of Christmas. There is a buzz around the house in the days preceding Christmas Eve with everyone trying to figure out who drew their name for the “Love Gift.” The actual presents wrapped up under the tree are nice, but those
things the kids have received in the past fade in their minds and they forget what they received year after year. But the “Love Gift” is a meaningful expression of what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.
God sent his Son because we needed encouragement. We needed His message of hope and most importantly we needed His “Love Gift.”
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Action Item |
If you’re struggling as a couple or as a family, maybe you all have lost sight of the importance of encouraging one another and really showing that love. Start by writing a note of encouragement for a specific family member and hide it somewhere for them to find. You might be surprised at how it changes their outlook on the day and might even help them see you in a different light.
God help me to focus this season on what is eternal and not what is temporary. Allow me to slow down and enjoy this special time with my family instead of feeling rushed and pulled in different directions. Thank You for sending your Son as my special “Love Gift!”
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