Gift-Giving On Christmas
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Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas break. We all know what Christmas is about — Jesus’ birth! — but most people don’t. They think it’s all about feeling good, family, a chance to eat good food, and a time to get presents. Of course, all of these things are great, but they’re really just bonuses.
The thing most publicized about Christmas is the gift-giving. Who isn’t excited on Christmas day to race downstairs and see all the gifts under the tree? For most people, this is just a fun tradition; they have no idea why they’re getting gifts; they’re just happy that they do. For Christians, though, if you take a moment to think about it, the gift-giving doesn’t make much sense. I mean, it’s Jesus’s birthday, not ours. And at what birthday party have you ever been to where you get all the gifts? (Goody bags don’t count.)
So why do we get gifts on Christmas? Well, some people say that it’s a reminder of the Three Wise Men, who came on Epiphany (which we just celebrated, incidentally) after traveling for at least a few months across all kinds of terrain to give Jesus the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (gold as a reference to His kingship, frankincense acknowledging Him as God, and myrrh as a reminder of His future suffering and death). So we give gifts to each other to remember Christ’s gifts.
I personally believe that the giving of gifts is a reminder of Jesus’ entire life. He gave up His pure-spiritness to become human; He gave up His Godly power to become a weak child; He gave up His outward signs of kingship, choosing to come as a poor boy. Later, He gave up His time and talents leading others to His Father, and, of course, He gave up His very life for others. Jesus’ entire life was dedicated to helping others. He sacrificed everything. Perhaps the gift giving is to remind us of this, and to give us a chance to make a small sacrifice — either of time, money, or both — for others as well.
Alright, so we give gifts to each other as a reminder of Jesus, what about Jesus Himself? What can we give Him? (It is His birthday after all.) Well, I saw this great picture once that I absolutely loved: there was a little stick person holding a small, broken heart. This stick person held it up to Jesus and said, “It’s all I have.” And Jesus smiled and said, “It’s all I want.” This is a perfect representation of what Jesus wants, in my mind. Jesus doesn’t want us to hold off giving ourselves to Him because we think we’re not enough. He loves us, and He wants us desperately. It’s the greatest birthday gift you can give Him.