The Gift of Christmas isn’t the Presents You Give

It's easy to lose sight of the gift of Christmas in our hustle and bustle to find the perfect presents for the ones we love. But if we listen, we might hear a whisper on the wind that reveals the truth. #Christmas #gift #present #giftideas #family #Jesus #giftofchristmas #presentsyougive

It’s easy to lose sight of the gift of Christmas in our hustle and bustle to find the perfect presents for the ones we love. But if we listen, we might hear a whisper on the wind that reveals the truth.

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

It's easy to lose sight of the gift of Christmas in our hustle and bustle to find the perfect presents for the ones we love. But if we listen, we might hear a whisper on the wind that reveals the truth. #Christmas #gift #present #giftideas #family #Jesus #giftofchristmas #presentsyougive

The Gift of Christmas

“Abula answered! She answered!” Abel’s excited voice and a third of his face showed up on my phone when I accepted the FaceTime call.

It's easy to lose sight of the gift of Christmas in our hustle and bustle to find the perfect presents for the ones we love. But if we listen, we might hear a whisper on the wind that reveals the truth. #Christmas #gift #present #giftideas #family #Jesus #giftofchristmas #presentsyougive

“Hey, Abel,” I said, “how are you today?”

“We play house now,” he answered.

The view on the screen abruptly changed from a slice of his face to the ceiling of his house. He spent the next ten minutes arranging pillows and inviting me inside the pillow and blanket fort he constructed on the sofa.

We pretended to take a nap, played with his elf and his hummingbird, and read a book. I think. Every once in a while, he commented on my actions, but the camera only picked up occasional stabs of light from inside his ‘house.’

After thirty minutes or so (with the occasional short conversation thread with my daughter), I said, “Abel, Abuelo and I will be in Alaska to visit you in just 10 days!”

“You coming! You coming to my house!”

His excitement made my day. He lives so far away we only get to see him twice a year. At four, he’s old enough to remember other visits and to look forward with anticipation to each new visit.

Our visit provides a bright spot in the darkness. The darkness of a pandemic year filled with disappointments and frustrations. Not to mention the darkness of winter (especially in Alaska).

Instead of exchanging a lot of gifts at Christmas, we choose to spend time together. The gift of Christmas this year will be time with family. The anticipation of seeing each other will wrap our hearts better than the colored paper on a gift.

Gifts that Start with R

I can’t help but ponder another child in another time and place. Each year, during the darkest days of winter (in the northern hemisphere, at least), we remember his arrival. Songs, decorations, lights, and gifts make up our celebration. At times, we focus more on the party than on the guest of honor.

Jesus came the first time so he could spend time with family. And give us the gifts of redemption and reconciliation. In a time of great darkness, he brought light to the world. He still does.

And each Christmas, when we spend time pondering his first coming, I can imagine him whispering back to us, “You’re coming! You’re coming to my house!”

One day, family members from all over and over the centuries will arrive for the best celebration ever. A homecoming we’ll never forget with a Redeemer who has longed for reconciliation since that fateful day in the Garden.

No, the gift of Christmas isn’t the presents you get (or give), it’s redemption and reconciliation and the promise of our forever home.

The gift of Christmas isn't the the presents you get (or give), it's redemption and reconciliation and the promise of our forever home. #gift #present #Christmas Click To Tweet

5 Comments

  1. Anita, I truly enjoyed peeking into your conversation with that excited little boy! And then you turn me around, and I can hear that babe in the manger growing up to get excited because we’re coming to his house! Isn’t that the way we should approach the Sabbath as we go to the House of the Lord to worship? I’ll be thinking about that as soon as the doors of our church open again.

  2. The Wise Guys, they showed up that night,
    a-followin’ a star,
    and in that bright holy light
    had to wonder where they are.
    They found a sleeping baby
    and a bunch of shepherd-dudes,
    and a man and lady,
    and said, “Sorry to intrude,
    but we’ve got stuff here for y’all,
    gold, frankincense..and that other thing,
    we keep forgettin’ what it’s called,
    but it sure goes with the bling
    and makes a darn good pile of loot
    for the kid…now, ain’t he cute!”
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Only if I DieMy Profile

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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