The Christmas Gift

The manger stays empty until Christmas Eve.

The manger stays empty until Christmas Eve.

As economic times are tough, I have had a real challenge of figuring out about what gifts I might be able to afford. There is just no way to be able to do the usual extended family Secret Santa gift exchange this year. The family vehicle needed repairs that cost more than our Christmas gift-giving budget would have been.

So, I have had a chance to think even harder about the really important aspects of Christmas being so much more than pretty presents under the tree.

I want to share with you a family tradition that we have had for several years. Front and center under our family Christmas tree is placed a small manger. We place raffia straw in it and it sits that way until Christmas Eve. The last thing that I do before going to bed on Christmas Eve is to take a baby doll and swaddle the doll in burlap and lay it in that manger. THAT is the greatest gift of all.  That reminder greets our family when we desend upon the tree Christmas morning.

Emmanuel, God with us…. what a wonderful gift! To know that God gave His only son so that we may be called His children forever, if only we accept Him as our Savior. We were in such great need when we were dead in our sins. And now, as we celebrate with the lights of the season, the Light of the World has come. We have received the greatest gift of all!

There is no greater gift that I could wish for you my friend than that of Jesus Christ the Savior. Do you have Him? If not, He is waiting to be invited to be your Savior and Lord. Once you have received that gift, what more could you possibly desire?

When it comes to the very real human feelings of sadness that I cannot just go out and buy some things that I know would make my friends and family happy to unwrap on Christmas morning; I just acknowledge that I am sad. But, then I think back to that wonderful traditional claymation video that used to be shown every Christmas season on television called “The Little Drummer Boy”.

The little drummer boy was extremely poor and had absolutely no gift to give to the baby Jesus. However, he was able to play his drum for Him….  par rup up pum pum…rup up pum pum…rup up pum pum.  And then, the baby Jesus smiled at him. How cool is that?  Just a fictional story, perhaps, yet it is true that Jesus doesn’t require anything from us other than our desire to have a relationship with Him. Everything else that we do from that point on will bring honor to Him as we get to know Him more and obey what He teaches.

Merry Christmas!


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