Looking back I’m pretty sure that his mind immediately went to how my mom would react when he told her I’d spotted it.
“Is that for MEEEEE?” I tried to manage my excitement in case the answer was no. I can’t remember exactly what he said but he hurried to buckle me back into the car. I couldn’t unsee it. Every night until Christmas I’d lay in bed wondering if the next time I saw it would be next to the tree with my name on it.
My anticipation was intense. The night before I could hardly sleep. I laid awake hoping it hadn’t been a dream and worried that maybe it was for some other little five-year-old girl.
When morning finally came I went to the living room and THERE IT WAS AGAIN. I’m fairly certain beams of light were glowing all around it. It was even better because a new doll seated there, just waiting to be mothered by me.
If you’re wondering, all that hype was for the cutest little doll high chair you’ve ever seen. It was brown and pink and had a tray that could go on and off just like a real one. I wasn’t much taller than it was.
For a time, that doll highchair had my full attention and joy. It was part of many make believe adventures and imagined stories. I’d use it and see myself as a real mom one day.
If you asked me where that little highchair is today, I couldn’t tell you. There’s an off chance it’s at my parent’s house or it could be in a landfill somewhere. Who knows? The memory of how I valued it remains but the actual gift is gone.
Some gifts serve a season while others last a lifetime. The deeper gift behind that highchair was the love and nurture of two parents who wanted to see their daughter’s delight. As a parent, I know the joy of watching my own children revel in the things they’ve wanted and waited on.
That little highchair was a small revelation of the love my parents held for me. The same can be said of God’s gifts to us. It’s never really about the gift itself. It’s about the Giver, and it’s about my position in relationship to the Giver.
This holiday season I want you to know that God loves to see your delight as you discover the gifts he’s got for you.
You can trace his love for you this season in so many ways… the nostalgia of the season’s music, the sparkle of the tree lights, the faces around your table, the scent of another shared meal, the crackle of the fire.
The generosity of the season whispers the deep love of the good Giver. The things that distract us come from people clambering to make it all about the gifts instead of the love behind them.
God loves to give, not because we earn it, but because he loves us. Love takes joy in the delight of others. He loves you and created you for the pleasure of knowing you. When you revel in something he’s given you, it brings him joy.
This season, take time to sincerely notice the gifts, and recognize the love that gave them.
And, how are YOU giving love to others this Christmas season? Are your gifts the result of obligation or are they the overflow and the demonstration of a heart that longs to reveal to the recipient just how much they are loved?
Love is the gift. Everything else is just wrapping.
That's one more truth of a 3dotlife.