Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unwrap the Gifts That You Already Have

I heard the phrase of my title over and over again this week. "Unwrap The Gifts That You Already Have..." It is a call to remind us to take time in this busy season to not only see the "gifts" that are already ours; but also to take them out and enjoy what we have already blessed with. I love how Thanksgiving proceeds Christmas in that sense. We have all just sat and reflected on how we have been blessed before entering this season. Some have even purposed to try to focus on their blessings all year round instead of just once a year; and then the craziness of parties, shopping, planning, Christmas plays and musicals, etc. begin.

Every Christmas it hits me how my kids are so saturated with gifts that they cannot possibly play with all of them right away. We began somewhat of a "tradition" of letting them open up a few items each half hour on Christmas Day so they would actually take the time to play with the new items and be truly thankful to the person who had given the gifts. We communicated a few days in advance that we were going to do this pattern of opening so that everyone would be prepared to take things in stride in the actual moment.

We have a lot of out of town family so each child has small gifts from each of those relatives that we want for them to:
1) be able to remember who gave them what so they can write their thank you cards in a meaningful way and
2) appreciate each item.

Over all, it is a way to slow down the "frenzy" of unwrapping and keep the "give me more!" Spirit in check. It has also ended up being a lot of fun for the whole family to be involved in the "what do you think it is?" for those mystery items sent by Aunt Ruth. (names have been changed to protect the extended family! There is always one isn't there?)

Let's take a few minutes today to "unwrap" a gift of two that we already have...draw out one of our children or our spouse in conversation or play a game with them. There is still time to do the "Twelve Days of Christmas" with your spouse! For those of you who have left comments or e-mailed me that you are participating; I have been and will continue to pray over your marriages until Christmas Day. (and then as they come to mind following Christmas.)

The gift that I have been most drawn to is to spend the time with the Lord that I have been missing and longing for but have been "too busy" to spend it. It is a gift that keeps on giving! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

I'm off to wrap and unwrap gifts!!

Blessings & Peace to you all!



Kathryn said...

Shanda, what a wonderful way to really savor and appreciate the gifts ... and the givers.

As I read your post, my heart was drawn to two Scriptures:

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

"If you, then ... know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13)

PS-Have there ever been three more precious children? :-)

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift(s)! (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Anonymous said...

Oh I LIKE that tradition! It's always nice to see what other people do for the holidays!

Anonymous said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful, Shanda. Our God truly is the giver of all good things.