It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A season filled with love, joy and giving. It’s a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus–the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I understand that it can also be a time of anxiety and stress as the realities of life and the endless demands often accompany this season.
We do our best, don’t we?
We do our best to be filled with joy, peace and love.
We do our best with the little or a lot we have to buy, make or re -gift Christmas presents for the ones we love.
We do our best to remember it’s better to give than to receive.
We do our best to not envy the extravagant Christmas others experience.
We do our best cultivating a generous and grateful spirit in our children while blessing them with things they want.
We do our best.
And, it’s all holly and jolly until we get an hour into our Christmas errands with hungry, irritable kids who have screamed, cried and not listened to us and we lose it. We are out of options and have pulled all the stops.
Then we remember we have one more card to pull—You know which one I’m talking about.
“If you don’t behave, you won’t get _______ for Christmas.”
We blurt it out and immediately these crazy kids whip into shape and become perfect little elves. And we go on our merry, little ways.
It works every single time, like magic, doesn’t it? And, as much as I’m over here like, do what you have to do momma, can I tell you why we shouldn’t threaten to withhold gifts from our children?
Can I encourage you for a second? Can I remind you of a famous little story?
Over 2,000 years ago, God, the creator of the earth, sent His only Son to this earth. In the middle of our mess and our inability to do right, Christmas still came, God still gave us his best—His name is Jesus.
Christmas time is a time to celebrate the best gift that came when we least deserved it. So, let us not be tempted to use Christmas gifts to keep our kids in line.
Instead, let us use this time to show that even when we fall short, mess up or do wrong, God did not or will not withhold His very best from us.
In the same way, as we gift our children and those we love, let us remember that we are not giving because they have earned it, but because it is just that—a gift.
Generosity is not a favor or a reward for doing good. Generosity is giving what is not earned or expected without expectation of getting anything in return.
I pray that this is a Holiday season filled with JOY, PEACE, LOVE, HOPE and GENEROSITY.