The greatest gift

The holidays tend to be the busiest time of the year — unless you’re super organized and begin your Christmas shopping in January. But for the rest of us, me especially, I tend to wait until the last minute to do all of my shopping.

Of course, my excuse is that I like to wait to make sure the people I buy for didn’t buy what they wanted during the year. (Yeah, let’s go with that.) So starting around Thanksgiving, I begin my search to get the “perfect” gifts.

It’s about this time that Christmas music starts playing in the stores and on radio stations and decorations are everywhere. Traffic increases and people are bustling about trying to find the right gifts for everyone. There are lists and more lists – for presents, dinners and Christmas cards. We worry if the tree lights will work this year or if we have everyone’s correct address for family Christmas cards. And of course, 2020 has brought in its own set of difficult circumstances.

After a while I begin to feel amazing — tired but accomplished. Looking through my lists and realizing I’m almost done feels so good. But in the middle of it all, I realize I forgot to add something to my list – the only thing that should matter, not just during this season but in every season.

I never slowed down enough to remember the reason I’m even here, the reason I have loved ones to buy for, the reason I can celebrate during this season. I have a Savior who loves me more than anything and has a home prepared for me. A Savior who chose to leave Heaven to come down and live a life I would never choose, a Savior who suffered and died for me so I could one day live with Him.  That’s what this season is about.

So is it wrong to have endless to-do lists this Christmas season? Is it wrong to enjoy the Christmas lights and drink hot chocolate, or make gingerbread houses with your kids? Of course not! But let’s put things in perspective and remember the reason we’re able to do those wonderful things, the reason we’re able to enjoy them with our families – it’s the baby in the manger in Bethlehem, it’s the Savior nailed to a cross on a hill called Golgotha. It’s the King on His throne in heaven waiting for God to say, “Go.”  It’s all of those things. This season don’t forget about the greatest gift of all – Jesus!

Amy Hacker

Amy Hacker is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is creative services associate for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She attends the Church of the Highlands and has three children.

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