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The Gift of Giving

Christmastime is my favorite time of the year. There are many reasons, not the least of which is because it is the traditional time for gift giving. While receiving gifts from others is not my primary “love language,” giving them to others is.

I keep my eyes peeled year-round for just the right birthday and Christmas gifts for friends and family members and purchase them on the spot if they’re a great fit. Why, you ask? Too many times when I have hesitated and then gone back even one day later to buy something I loved for another, the item was no longer available, and I suffered major regret. No more! If I buy it and change my mind, I can usually return it, but not vice versa. If I find another perfect gift for that person later, I save it for their next occasion.

I choose gifts based on what I know about the recipient—their preferences, interests, hobbies, favorite colors, authors, and the like. And I receive great joy from getting it right when I witness the receiver’s pleasure. They feel seen and known and my appreciation of them is clear. For me, the love is in the labor of taking the time to choose well. In this one area, I am definitely “extra,” but that’s just me—a single woman with no dependents—with the time and resources, usually, to indulge in this occupation! I realize how fortunate I am to enjoy this luxury.

Most people do not have the privilege of spending time and money finding the right gift because of the typical demands of family life. Some may have the money, but not the time or just the opposite. Some are not interested or find the search stressful. Others, perhaps like you, are managing extraordinary demands as a caregiver that leave no extra of anything, including energy. You can still enjoy the gift of giving.

Giving doesn’t require something made or purchased to show your love or appreciation. Giving comes from the heart. A quick hug, warm handshake, whispered prayer or mumbled “Thank you!” are all gifts that bless recipients and multiply as they, in turn, give encouragement to others. When you don’t think you have anything to give, think again.

Think about the encouragement you’ve received from the smallest of gestures others have made towards you in your myriad of circumstances. Others feel acknowledged and appreciated when we express our gratitude for their places in our lives. Just as we give thanks to God for our very breath, and He is honored, so are others as we give to them whatever we can—including sincere words. Witnessing others’ appreciation for your thanks is a gift to you. And the gift goes on. Don’t miss out! Enjoy the gift of giving this season in your own way. We live because God gave us life and gave us His son.

Listening Library: “The Gift Goes On” (Sandi Patty)

“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

(James 1:16-17 NIV)

The Gift Goes On

The Father gave the Son The Son gave the Spirit The Spirit gives us life So we can give the Gift of love

And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on

Don't you love to get a present wrapped up in a Christmas bow God gave each of us a present on that night so long ago It's a Gift that keeps on giving if our spirits can receive It's the secret joy of living if our hearts can just believe

And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on

And the Gift goes on and on and on

And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on And the Gift goes on

And the Gift goes on and on and on When your life is full of Christmas then your life is full of love You can give away the present that began with God above Just like ripples in the water the circles of our love extend What was started with the Father is a Gift that has no end

By Ron Harris and Claire Cloninger (c) 1983 Ron Harris Music/ASCAP

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