My favorite thing about Christmas morning was watching them exchange gifts with one another. Our school's book fair was held two weeks ago, so I gave each child a $20 allowance for their siblings and set them loose. (Ideally they would spend their own money, but we aren't doing allowances right now.)
It was so much fun to see them shop. R was decisive and impulsive--finished in under 5 minutes. P took a thoughtful approach, telling me over and over how much he wanted to get just the right thing. K's gifts were personal, yet playful and silly, just like the giver.On Christmas morning the looks on each of their faces as they watched the others open the selected gifts revealed that the joy of giving was becoming real in their hearts.
giving a gift to Him was richer.
And now we bask in the Christmas afterglow. The pressure to do, buy, plan, wrap, bake, party is off. This is the time for pajamas until late in the day. Nestling down, making room for new gifts and reveling in what we have received. We don't want to move on "back to normal" too quickly.
"Don't let the joy of Christmas fade away. Celebrate every day the wonder of God sending his Son on a sacrificial mission of redeeming grace." -Paul David Tripp
Even as I pack up our decorations next week, I pray that I will hold tight to the gifts I received this Christmas. Not the sweaters and jewelry... but the intangibles that this season brings as refreshment to my soul each year.
Jesus received gold, frankincense and myrrh. My heart received insights, peace and memories of moments shared with family and friends. May we, like Mary, take the time to be still and "ponder these things in our heart."
The boxes, bags, lights and bows will soon be stowed away, but may it be said that we are changed.