I was thinking about Christmas this morning. About seemingly silly traditions that accompany this holiday. Moreover, I was thinking that it was wrong to celebrate in some of the ways we do. It was unfair.
I was trying to sort in my head all the gifts that still needed to be made and purchased and weighing the things I still needed to get for my kids against the mountains of presents they would already be receiving. I needed to make sure I got them something they would like, something they wanted, something someone else wasn't already giving them. And hopefully something that they would love and be interested in for more than a week.
That led to thoughts of what to get the little cousins whose names we have. This is trickier because we don't see them often and aren't always sure what they would like or what they already have. Then there are gifts for friends and neighbors and grandpa and the sister who has everything and teachers and mailmen...I thought, "this is ridiculous! This long list of people that we buy for whether or not they deserve a gift, whether or not it will be appreciated and used and loved, whether or not it is something that they want."
My kids know that they will be getting gifts for Christmas -- lots of gifts. No matter how many times in the month of December I may say, "you had better be good or Santa won't bring you any presents." Or my latest threat, "If you don't start picking up your stuff I am going to pick it up for you and wrap it up for your Christmas!" No, my kids know that, come Christmas morning there will be a pile of presents carefully chosen just for them. And the giving doesn't stop there. They will open gifts at home, at Grandma's later that morning, at Grandpa's that afternoon and the gifting will continue into the next week as we travel to the other grandparents' house for a Christmas party there.
All these gifts, regardless of their deserving them.
And then a thought stopped me in my tracks.
Isn't that exactly what Christmas is all about? It is a gift of a Savior of the world. A gift of a perfect example of a perfect life. A gift of atonement and redemption and resurrection and eternal life. And it is all given freely and lovingly to every person in the whole world. Even brats like me. No one deserves it. Few acknowledge it and none of us are grateful enough for it. Too many times I don't even give it much thought. Yet, it is the perfect gift delivered with pure love and certainly with hopes and prayers of our using it. No gift has ever had a higher price, a greater degree of agony, or a brighter promise of hope.
Today I thank heaven that Christmas is for brats.
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