If I wasn’t “finishing up” at Target or All-A-Dollar or Kmart at 5:45 on Christmas Eve I guess the season wouldn’t be quite the same. One December 24, 2002 I was given the following insight. It has made a difference in every Christmas Eve thereafter.
Exhausted and touching on frantic, I completed my Christmas buying that year by going to three stores just as the 24th sun of December was setting, trying to find that perfect, within my budget, healthy (at the request of the children) stuff to stuff in the…(well you know). First, I flew in and out of some store with the word dollar in the name but obviously not geared for the authentic “I’ve got no money left” shopper! Then it was on to The Dollar Store with a big finish at Kmart.
I miraculously ended the Christmas shopping within budget, but as I pulled into the garage I had a sinking feeling that what I had purchased was just not right at all. I entered the kitchen, helloed everyone, turned on the Christmas music and declared that the Holiday could now begin. I noticed my daughters had removed the unfinished chicken, thankfully, from the crock-pot and put it into the ever-faithful oven “in hopes that the dinner soon would be there.” (Is that a line from a famous Christmas poem?)
As I stood at the sink working toward perfection in the kitchen, I pondered as I often do while cycling the dishes. “Just why Nannette, why is gift giving so completely unsettling to you? Why do you put off the thinking of, looking for, purchasing, wrapping and giving of gifts? Why are you so “anxietous” (a family word) over every phase of this activity? I’ll tell you why,” spoke the Messenger to my mind. “It’s because you always want to give the perfect gift, isn’t it. You want it to be just the right thing and there is never enough time or money or creativity or understanding to pull it off. That’s it, isn’t it?”
Then came the instruction. “Nannette, there is only one perfect gift and it will not matter how early you line up at Shopko the day after Thanksgiving or whether or not you have a wheel barrow full of money with which to fight off the crowds and pay at the register. You will not be able to buy it.
Your Heavenly Father already conceived of it and His first born and only begotten Son already volunteered to be it and it has been offered to every one on your Christmas list! So let go of the notion of reinventing the magnificent and allow your humble giving of the less than perfect to be a perfect reminder. Let it bring to your philanthropic heart and near empty hands the testimony that His gift is The Gift that makes up for all lesser offerings. There is no other gift beside Him. Allow the contrast to be a symbol of your humble station and His abundant, priceless, perfect present.
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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