This week, millions of families will gather together in celebration of a holiday. They will exchange gifts. They will go to parties. And someone, inevitably, will bring a fruitcake. Someone else will give fruitcakes as presents to all their friends. The loved ones who receive these fruitcakes will give them away to someone else because they, themselves, don’t like fruitcake. However, the next person will not want the fruit cake either! In reality… no one likes fruitcake. Some people have just been programmed to believe that people are supposed to like it. Therefore, they are just making the best of a bad situation. If you need counseling to deliver you from the trauma of countless fruitcakes being forced upon you, please talk to one of your pastors. I’m sorry… this message really isn’t about fruitcakes. Maybe I need counseling. Let’s move on.
Presents vs. Presence
Exchanging gifts this year is fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be an amazing experience and lots of fun. Many people, adults and children alike, will wait with great anticipation to unwrap that thing they have been waiting for. Others will be completely shocked and even in tears when they receive a gift they weren’t even expecting.
But, I want to encourage you this year to not focus so much on the “presents”. Instead, focus on being “present”.
Gifts are great. Buy them. Give them. Receive them. But what your family truly wants this year, is for you to be present. Your presence matters. Spend time with your loved ones. Tell funny stories from past holidays. Bake snowman cookies together. Have a snowball fight. Feed the homeless. Go caroling.
Your loved ones may not remember what gift was their favorite. That expensive wrapping paper will simply end up in the trash bin. There will be many things that are forgotten over the next few days and especially the next year. But, they will remember whether or not you were there. They will remember your presence.
The Greatest Gift
Over 2000 years ago, God did something that, still to this day, some people think is impossible. He gave us the greatest gift of all time. He gave his one and only Son to save the world. That is a radical, impossible and amazing Love! He loved you so much that He was willing to allow His child to be crucified for you. Will you share the story of this amazing gift with someone this Christmas?
The best gifts aren’t meant to be hidden away. Everyone… EVERYONE needs Jesus. What better gift could you possibly give than to share the true meaning of Christmas? I want to encourage you to discuss the true meaning of Christmas with your family before you open a single gift this Christmas.
This Christmas, shower your family and friends with the love of Jesus. Remember that He is the reason for the season. Spend as much time with loved ones as you can.
And for the love of all that is holy… Do.Not.Bring.Fruitcake.