Editor’s note: I am in the process of publishing a book of columns I have written over the years. Here is a variation of one I wrote that was published Dec. 21, 2005. It has been updated.
I have on numerous occasions. When my grandfather was alive, that was something I struggled with every year. Pop had every tool you could imagine and then some.
He could only eat so many boxes of candy and cans of nuts. Someone already had bought him a weather radio. And the list of what not to buy goes on.
Put simply, Pop didn’t need anything I could get him, and he was perfectly happy that my family and I traveled from Tennessee to South Carolina each year. Just being there was gift enough for him.
But because I loved him so much, I still tried to find that perfect gift for him.
He has long since gone to heaven, but I still have trouble finding that “perfect gift” for the people I care about.
Over the years I have gotten in the habit of buying gift cards if I didn’t know what to get someone. To me, a gift card was logical. The person could buy whatever he or she wanted.
My friend and coworker Susie Edwards (who also is in heaven now) did not like gift cards. When our staff was celebrating a coworker’s wedding or baby shower and we would pool our resources, Susie insisted on buying a present. No gift cards for her.
It all boils down to a matter of preference. I am sure some gifts I have given over the years probably became someone else’s “white elephant” gift in later years. But, I have never had someone return a gift card to me. Think about it.
When a gift is given from the heart, does it really matter what it is? There’s truth in the statement, “It’s the thought that counts.”
Consider this question. What gift would God want from me for Christmas?
First of all, keep in mind that God doesn’t need anything. He already has it all.
But our love compels us to try to find that perfect gift for the Creator of the universe who owns it all.
What would God want from each of us?
First and foremost, He wants our heart — a heart committed to loving and serving Him.
Then, how about the gift of obedience? Wouldn’t it please God greatly if His children sought to obey His Word and to share His Good News with people who haven’t heard?
And I imagine God would also be pleased if His children not only went to church on Sunday, but actually lived their faith Monday through Saturday as well.
In addition, I believe God would really be pleased if we truly “loved our neighbors as ourselves.”
Those are just a few suggestions of what God might want from us for Christmas. There are no doubt other gifts just as appropriate.
The bottom line is for us to love God so much that we want to please Him and give Him our best at all times.
Why? Because He gave us His best — His Son, Jesus Christ. B&R