Never enough time. Never enough done. Never enough presents. It’s the place we can find ourselves as Christmas day closes in on us. That’s how it can feel, right? Like time is closing in. Our finances are stretched and we are looking around thinking, have I done enough? Will my kids feel like this was a good enough Christmas? My parents? My friends? Did I make the most of this Season of Joy?
I get it. I’ve been there. As a mom, I’ve counted presents under the tree wondering did I get enough, or too much? Are the number and value of the presents about the same? Maybe I should put one of my daughter’s presents away for her birthday so it looks more even between the kids. And then my gaze falls on the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Is it my imagination, or does one look fuller than the other? Maybe the drug store is still open, I think. I could pick up a few more stocking stuffers.
On Christmas morning, it’s over in seconds. And never enough becomes a pit in the stomach. Where has the joy of Christmas gone? you may wonder. It’s still there. It always has been. Hidden behind the lights and glitter and parties and presents, the joy of Christmas is waiting.
Remember Me, Christmas asks. Remember Me.
As wrapping paper flies, thoughts of Jesus are a million miles away. I get it. I was there with you. Gauging the looks on my children’s faces. My husband’s face. My parents’ faces. Is it enough? Did I do enough?
And then one Christmas morning my family did something different before we opened our presents. We acknowledged Jesus by giving Him gifts before we opened our own. Mittens and gloves for someone in need. Food for the hungry. Freedom for a child enslaved on a fishing boat, purchased for $14.00. Dear Jesus, we prayed, We give these gifts to you in honor of your birthday because we know you want us to take care of each other. You don’t want people to go hungry, or be cold. You want us to be light in the darkness of this world. So with humble hearts, we give these gifts to You. For you taught us that whatever we do for those in need, we do for You. Thank you for the gift of your love, Jesus. Thank you for coming to earth as a baby to teach us about God’s love and how to love each other. We love You. Happy birthday, Jesus.
With those words, never enough became more than enough. Christmas became love overflowing. Right there in our living room, we experienced it. God’s love with us! Emmanuel. Our hearts sang with joy beyond measure–and nothing needed measured again. It was enough. Every gift, every treat, every carol, every moment was infused with the love of Emmanuel.
The experience of giving Jesus a gift can’t be adequately described in words. It’s like the birth of a child, or the kindness of a stranger that is so profound you wonder if you were visited by an angel. Until it happens to you, you can’t truly imagine it.
We want you to experience this love more than anything. Christmas Eve is the perfect time to think of a gift for Jesus. Put it under your tree. You can put the gift in a Sparkle Box if you have one, or in a gift bag if you don’t. And then—don’t skip this part—read your gift to Jesus on Christmas morning, thanking Him for becoming God with us. Feel the joy that comes from giving a gift to the greatest gift of all.
Visit TheSparkleBox.com for gift ideas for Jesus. You’ll find a link to Network for Good, a national organization with over 100,000 nonprofits you can search for by cause, name, or even location. You’ll also find ideas for how you can bless someone in need in your community or neighborhood. We love giving a gift to Jesus on His birthday so much, we give Him a birthday gift every year. It’s even changed the way we live, love and serve year-round…bringing more joy to our lives than we ever dreamed possible. The Sparkle Box is an award-winning children’s book written to share this tradition with people of all ages, and it’s available to read online for free through Dec. 31, 2018, courtesy of Worthy Publishing. I hope you’ll read it: TheSparkleBox.com–and share! Merry Christmas!