What is your favorite thing about Christmas time? Is it the music, the decoration, the gifts...what is it that makes your heart leap with joy? I could go on for days about why I love this time of year, but there is one thing that stands out more than anything else...the act of giving.
I won't lie to you, I love opening presents on Christmas morning and get so excited when I see something wrapped under the tree for me. My parents used to truly make Santa proud, so I have so many memories of waking up to the fireplace SURROUNDED by gifts. It was magical. As a child, I am sure I used to assume that was what a parent should do. I had worked hard all year, so I earned this right? Well, as I have gotten older, I have come to understand that they did not have to do that for me. There is no requirement when it comes to being a parent that you have to give me anything. It was a choice they made. They CHOSE to make my Christmas list come to life because they wanted to. They love me and what I have learned now is that is one of the ways they chose to show it. I have seen this in both of my parents over the years, that one of their Love Languages (when it comes to showing love/ affection) is definitely the act of giving. Both of them do it. And I see that in myself now. I love to give.
As I said before, of course I love receiving presents, but it is even more exciting to me when I can hand someone a gift from me. Something I have put thought in to, wrapped, paid for and picked out just for them. I love it. It is in the middle of this season when I feel far from perfection, but being able to bring joy to someone else's life is everything I need. For that moment when someone opens their gift, my heart is full. Their excitement gives me life and all of the stress I experience during this season is wiped away.
So with all of that being said, I cannot believe Christmas is a mere six days away. Crazy right?!? This can be a hectic time of year, but I never want to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, the gifts are fun and I love being able to give someone something special from me, but want to remember that there was a gift given that truly is the ultimate gift. The birth of Jesus.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given." - Isaiah 9:6
This is where it began. Where we can celebrate what God has done, in giving us his one and only son. This was not a gift He had to give us. He CHOSE to do this because He loves us.
"God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him." - 1 John 4:9
He CHOSE to do this so that Jesus could pay the ultimate price for us and cover our sin. Then Jesus eventually CHOSE to bare that burden on the cross. One that was not His to bare, but mine to be ashamed of. But because of this gift, He covers our shame and instead gives us life (Ephesians 2:4-5), and that is the greatest gift of all.
Photos by Darian Kayce Photography