On Christmas morning, there is no greater gift we can open, rejoice in or celebrate than The Gift of Love. Love is a wonderful precious gift and it is no more visible than at Christmas. When you stop and think about the most wonderful gift we Christians celebrate on this most holiest of days in our religion, it is a truly remarkable gift of love of sacrifice. No greater love could be given or shown than to give up ones’ life so that others can live.
As my family sleeps and our day awaits, I cannot help but sit and be filled with thoughts of love for those in my life, near and far. Today is always a bit bittersweet for me; I love my Christmas with my little family, but miss the big celebrations of my youth and the gatherings of Aunts, Uncles and cousins. The chaos and noise that comes from a houseful of relatives celebrating will always mean Christmas to me.
Those big gatherings – and the small ones – give us lots of opportunity to show love. Big and small, easy and hard, we cannot miss those moments when they come today. Easy ones are the joy we get to express when we open the treasured gift we love, or hold that precious child the family has been waiting for months (or even years!) to arrive. Love comes when you meet a newly engaged, future in-law, blissful in love and full of hope and excitement about their future. Those are easy moments to share and show love.
But what about the great Aunt who criticizes everything you do? Who seemingly despises your spouse and how you parent? How do you show love to her today? Or the brother-in-law who over-consumes and embarrasses his family? That dear mother-in-law who will tell you the same story three times today, each time as if it was the first? How will you give her The Gift of Love?
Christmas is about giving, about sacrifice, about being selfless. It doesn’t all come wrapped in pretty ribbons and bows. It comes from the heart. The Gift of Love comes in listening, remaining silent when needed, giving a supportive hug or a knowing wink of encouragement. Today, be love…show love…give love.
When I was in junior high school, our public school chorus group sang a song called The Gift of Love that I fell in love with. I loved the words, the arrangement and how the voices blended together so much that I kept my copy of the music. And while I doubt a public school would today allow a song based on II Corinthians to be performed in school, I am so thankful mine did; I love these words:
Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.
I hope your celebrations today are filled with The Gift of Love. I pray that you are shown love often. That you see love, give love freely and that you recognize the opportunities to be love to those who need it most. It will come in your silence. In your gentle smile. In your listening. In your subtle nod of support. Be love today and give the gift freely.