The Best Gift

giftgivingAt this time of year, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of consumeritis. To get frustrated in mall parking lots.  To grumble about the small (or nonexistent) company Christmas bonus. To wonder why there were less cards in the mailbox this year.

I think there are four little actions we can take to combat all this noise:

1. Spread Joy-Smile at a stranger. Surprise your checker at the grocery store with a happy “Merry Christmas”. Hug your friends.  Be radical and swim against the current of tedium that can easily overcome the holidays.

2. Choose to Forgive-Most of us will end up cooped up with family over the next two weeks.  Are it’s most likely there’s someone in the room who has hurt us. Choose to let it go.  And if you’ve done the harm, say two little words that mean everything: “I’m sorry.” If not for them, do it for you.  The weight of resentment and unforgiveness is so heavy.  Free yourself from those chains.

3. Give Until It Hurts-That’s not “spend until you’re broke.”  There are things we can give of through our time and resources that can be life-changing for another.  Pay for a grocery bill. Stop by the neighbor’s house and fix the garage door. Take two hours and fill five boxes with good things you have lying around the house that could help a homeless person. When the giving hurts a bit, the reward is so much sweeter.  Kinda like paying for college yourself.

4. Speak LifeThere are people all around us carrying huge burdens, especially at this time of year. Spouses hiding the fact that they are separated, but “playing house” for their families. Parents who can’t afford Christmas for their kids. Friends grieving a lost loved one. Sometimes, it’s enough just for people to know that you See them. That you support them. And that you pray for them.

God, in His infinite wisdom, made these acts of kindness feel so good to us that it’s almost as if we benefit more than the recipient. This year, let’s BE CHRISTmas to a world in need of light and laughter.

What do you do to make Christmas special?

P.S. What do you think of my spruced up new blog?  Shout out to the wonderful Jamie Rowe for working his magic.



4 thoughts on “The Best Gift

  1. All of your points are beautiful and truthful, but Speak Life … wow.

    “Sometimes, it’s enough just for people to know that you See them. That you support them. And that you pray for them.”

    I did this the other day without really intending to. I have been trying to be more vocal and more loving to strangers, especially while waiting in holiday lines or while speaking on the phone with customers at work. I feel like this is a way God can be present in even the smallest, most insignificant interactions. The other day I was helping a patient on the phone whose husband has suffered many, many terrible things throughout his lifetime health-wise. (I am a pharmacist.) There came a point in the conversation where I could no longer offer any advice, and had no idea what to say. Before I even realized it I was saying, “God is the great physician. He can heal all wounds. Prayer works and I will keep you both in mine.” I didn’t know how this would be taken. I work in a large chain pharmacy and don’t know how my boss would feel about it either, but you know what? The woman on the phone began to cry and thanked me profusely. She said she wanted me to know that she prays for me everyday, because she prays for all healthcare workers daily. I hold lives in my hands everyday and frankly it scares me. I care about people too much and just want to do the right thing. That woman had no idea how much her comments meant to me. Once the conversation ended, I was left believing my own statements more than I had when I shared them with her. “Speak life” is a great way to embody Christ this season … and all year round.
    PS- I never saw your blog before this since I just recently began following you on twitter, but this layout is super-cute! Merry CHRISTmas. #RethinkChristmas

  2. LOVE the new look! Congrats on the makeover!

    As for special things…I do a lot of what you mentioned. Compliment people, say Merry Christmas, pay it forward when I can do it. I just pray and ask God to put people and situations in front of me and the wisdom to see them when they arrive.

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