Tag Archives: presents

A Christmas Gift

Giving is a really big thing around Christmas, as well it should be. Christmas is about giving, and it all stems from the greatest gift the world has ever received – the gift of Jesus Christ. ~Monica Johnson

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I was twelve, the age of confusion. No longer a child, not yet a woman. I played with my doll babies alone in my room. I knew it wasn’t considered cool or mature. Only a child played with dolls.

That Christmas I received a gift packaged in a hair dryer box. I was ecstatic as I thanked my mother for the gift. I hadn’t known I wanted one, but now, well, a hair dryer was the gift I had always longed for.

My mother’s face fell.

“You better open it up.”

I don’t remember what was inside, but it wasn’t a hair dryer. It wasn’t the gift I had expected.

I’m sure I tried to recover and thank my parents for the non-hair dryer gift, but 35 years later, I still remember the disappointment.

She was a young girl, not a child, but neither was she yet a woman. She played with the children and tried to fit in with the older girls. It was a time of confusion and uncertainty.

She was given a gift. The package was startling. It didn’t meet anyone’s expectations. It was what she had always wanted, and never known she desired.

It was a gift she would never forget. A pain and a joy that would overwhelm all disappointment.

May you find the real Christmas present every day of the year.


” Then he blessed them and told Mary, “This child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be like a warning sign. Many people will reject him, and you, Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger. But all this will show what people are really thinking.” Luke 2:34-35 CEV

You Get WHAT For Christmas!?

presentsMy husband’s family is a bit odd. (Read REALLY strange!) I met Matt in September, we had our first date in October, and by December I was invited to the family Christmas. Matt knows a good thing when he sees it.

Anyway, his family would spend Christmas Eve with his grandparents, Aunt and Uncle and their two boys, and his family of four. That first Christmas Eve was spent at Aunt Linda’s house in a room with a huge picture window the length of the room. It looked out on the West Virginia countryside full of snow and beauty. Inside the window I looked on an equally beautiful scene, a family that loved and enjoyed each other.

Piled high all over the floor were fancy paper-wrapped presents. This was before the day of gift bags. Yes, I am that old. The unwrapping began, one person at a time, while everyone watched what the present might be. There were sweaters, jewelry, colognes, and tools. There were also Lifesaver Books, potato chip bags, and duct tape.

The idea was that everyone had to be equal, so toward the end of the shopping season, my future mother-in-law and her sister would get creative. Matt’s dad suggested every guy needs duct tape and a tradition was born. Every year, without fail, the guys get duct tape.

It was all a big joke until one year when Cousin Jerry was driving the two hours back home after a Christmas celebration and his car broke down. Jerry is a mechanical genius and he whipped out the duct tape to make a fix until he could get back to town. Then he knew the great worth of the present.

Jesus lived in a “hole in the wall” sort of place. He wasn’t a GQ model or one of Fortune 500’s Men on the Move. He didn’t look like much of a present. You certainly might have considered him a present you just throw in the back of the car and forget about.

But then, your life breaks down, you look behind the seat, in the trunk, down in the cracks with the jack. . . And you find HIM. The present that you need to fix the mess you are in. You pull off a small piece at first and wrap it around your broken heart. The blood loss eases a bit. You yank off a longer piece, tear it off with your teeth in your hurry to stop the pain, and affix the tape to the cracking heart of your life.

The duct tape holds. It is just what you need. The perfect gift that you have had all along and never even knew you needed.

Won’t you let Jesus be your duct tape this Christmas?


Who can believe what we have heard,
    and for whose sake has the Lord’s arm been revealed?
He grew up like a young plant before us,
    like a root from dry ground.
He possessed no splendid form for us to see,
    no desirable appearance.
He was despised and avoided by others;
    a man who suffered, who knew sickness well.
Like someone from whom people hid their faces,
    he was despised, and we didn’t think about him.

It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
    and our sufferings that he bore,
    but we thought him afflicted,
    struck down by God and tormented. Isaiah 53:1-4 CEB