Published in A Christmas Lift: 2016 Advent Devotional
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)
In my family, Christmas planning began as soon as the Thanksgiving table was cleared. Aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather around to exchange Christmas wish lists. The gift-receiver in question would be sent away as whispers and furtive glances commenced among those hunched over the lists. I was always eager to squirm into the fray, though I hardly had money to buy gifts.
That is, until the year my older cousin asked for “a walk to remember”. That seemed easy enough. I knew my way around the neighborhood and I could certainly walk. This was something I could give without money! I was eager to volunteer my family to give my cousin “a walk to remember”.
It wasn’t until we went Christmas shopping that I realized my cousin had not, in fact, been wanting a stroll around the block, but a movie entitled “A Walk to Remember”.
When giving and receiving gifts, whenever the season, never underestimate the gift of time. Offering a moment to help a friend, donating a few hours to a food pantry, or even taking a loved one to see a movie will bring more joy and cultivate richer rewards than handing someone a gift card.
Lord, remind me to be generous in deeds by sharing the resource of my time with others; in Christ, I pray. Amen.