We have finally arrived in December and what a year it has been for all of us! To think that a year ago we had no idea what 2020 would look like and that it would be a very difficult year for many. Coming to think of it, we never know what lies ahead of us and that is perhaps one of the greatest blessings. I have taken a bit of time to reflect on the year that has passed It will undoubtedly be different for each one of us and we can never diminish the troubles and sorrows that many have experienced, however there is also so much to be grateful for.
As I am now in this reflective mood, I wondered how this festive season would look for our family and indeed others. How will we be celebrating and how will we make this 2020 festive season a joyful one? It reminded me of the quote by Ben Carson, 'Happiness does not result from what we get, but what we give.' That is such a profound thought. So many people are striving for happiness in acquiring more and more stuff or reaching for the top of the ladder, that along the way we forget how simple it really is. It is not about having the latest and greatest.
This time of the year has such an emphasis on gift giving and we are all trying to find the ultimate gift for our loved ones. So why do we even give gifts?
In the Bible, it says, 'For God so loved the world that he GAVE his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (John 3:16)
I think this is the ultimate gift to humankind.
So I guess we give gifts to show our love and appreciation for others. To show them that they are valued and treasured. The greatest misconception about gift giving is that the bigger the gift, the more it expresses our love or appreciation. This is simply not true - the thoughtfulness of a gift is more important than the value of the gift. When my daughter turned 15, her dad gave her an unusual gift. It was a once-a-month breakfast date before school. This gift (time spent together) holds special memories for both of them.
I recently came across a poem by Frank Sonnenberg, The Gift of Giving. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me and that perhaps you too will think of new and different ways of expressing your love to others.