My daughter turned 10 this year and for the first time, she’s really getting into the spirit of giving gifts this Christmas. Up until now she’s only been aware of Christmas as the time when she receives them. “Mom! I gave Maddie the glass dolphin I got her and she was so happy! It was really fun! You should’ve seen her face!” I smiled, “I know! Isn’t it great to give someone something really special and make them happy?” I said. “You should know something important about this, honey,” I continued. “It’s a really valuable character skill to be willing to know someone well enough, to care about the unique things that are important to them that you can search out the perfect gift. That’s the kind of person you always want to be. And when someone else gives you a special gift, always let them see how much it means to you.” Then she said, “That reminds me of her birthday party this summer.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Well I gave her that Beanie Baby and I thought she would really like it, but when she opened it she just said, ‘thanks’ and went on to the next gift. It kind of hurt my feelings.”

As we continued our drive home I was thinking about the relational dynamics of giving gifts and the commercialism of Christmas. It struck me that God, as the ultimate gift giver, probably feels much the same as we do about giving gifts. Every petal of a flower, every unique snowflake, every amber sunset, every smile and newborn baby is a handcrafted gift from the Father, intended for each of us. You know how sweet that hope is, when you’ve found the perfect gift, wrapped it lovingly and placed it under the tree? The anticipation is so much fun. And then the moment comes… they’re unwrapping it and you can hardly stand it. What if God feels that same way when we drive around a corner and he knows we’re about to see that sunset he painted in the sky? This Christmas, take a moment to really gush over the gifts HE has given you. Let him see how they affect you, how important it is to you that he sees you and cares about giving the things he knows you’ll love. He deserves to see your delight. He enjoys it just like we do.

Merry Christmas from the Splankna Therapy Institute

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