Mini Wreath by Laura Campbell
Children count the days until Christmas with joy and excitement! We can catch that contagious enthusiasm and spread it around to others as we are busy with holiday preparations. Christ is Christmas, His birth and resurrection are the reasons for the greatest celebrations the earth has ever known! When we understand the full magnitude that we are the recipient of the gift of God’s son, our gratefulness overflows with desire to give. Let’s allow our daily actions to reveal the character, love and spirit of Christ that dwells within us!
The best way to celebrate His birth is to first make Him the center of your life, accepting Jesus as your Savior. Where your heart is, so there is your treasure. And from that abundance of treasure we can give generously and freely!
The Five Best Christmas Gifts
Letting go of resentment and bitterness by forgiving someone, or our self is a magnificent gift! Christ asks us to share the gift of forgiveness that He gave us, even while we were still acting against Him. The bonus of this gift is that once forgiveness has been given, it can bring peace and freedom from the bondage and burden of the traits of unforgiveness. Forgiveness can be given regardless of the severity of pain caused or the lack of change or repentance on the part of another. It is a gift you can present to yourself that can enhance the quality of your entire life and spill out onto others in the form of compassion and love.
We are called to love each other as we would like to be loved. To treat our neighbor, our co-workers, our boss, our relatives as we would want to be treated. Extend a hand, give a minute of your time, send a card, bring cookies, let someone get in front of you in line, give someone that parking spot, listen attentively, say “Merry Christmas” to strangers. Act like Jesus despite your desire to put anger, busyness, or yourself first. Even minor kind gestures and acts can have a major impact on someones day and can encourage them to do the same for someone else. Little acts of kindness are gifts that keeps on giving!
Look directly into someones eyes and give the gift a big genuine smile! A smile can pick up the spirit of a stranger who is having a hard day. It can help to heal, foster compassion and empathy, encourage, bring security, and connection. When appropriate, add a wink, it’s like putting extra whipped cream on a dessert! Every time you see someone as you walk through the room, smile! Give a for-no-reason smile as a gift to a checkout clerk, a passing mother and child, the driver in the car next to you at the stoplight. No matter how down you may feel, you can “fake it til you make it” as smiles are contagious and become better with more use. Let the spirit of Jesus shine through your smile this Christmas!
The best time spent is time with God. Give Him some of your time every day of your life. Praying and reading your bible is the best way to get to know him. Learn about Him and you’ll learn more about yourself and others. You can talk to God in the midst of hectic or calm situations. Every stoplight that holds you still for a moment, pray and talk to God. Make Him the first one you go to for every question, concern and praise, no matter how tiny or how huge. Make Him the center of your life and you can know the deepest relationship with eternal significance and lasting joy! And give your time to other people. Give a moment to hear a child’s story, have coffee and listen to someone share, serve those in need or hurting, sing in the choir, drive for the elderly, volunteer at school or a non-profit organization, make a meal for someone, share family photographs with long distant and lonely friends and family, tuck your children in every night as if you are not in a hurry and stop whatever you are doing to give love to your family every time they walk in the door. Giving time sends the message of love, and love rewards both the giver and the recipient.
God has shown us how to love and has given us all His love through His son, Jesus. The bible is rich with words of wisdom that gives us power, knowledge, truth, guidance, and love. These are among an endless list of special treasures He presents to us, if we will only accept them. The beauty of love is that every human being needs it and it’s a free, sustainable and green resource that builds and grows the more it’s given away. It’s as good to give as to receive. And it is the first and greatest commandment.
“Love your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul
and with all your strength
and with all your mind
and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Celebrate in a BIG way this Christmas and generously give the BEST gifts! Give the gift of forgiveness, kindness, time, and smiles and wrap each one with love! You will be giving the perfect gift and spreading the true reason for the season!