Monday, December 9, 2013

The Best Christmas Gift


As Christmas approaches, I find myself thinking about last year. I was still recovering from a minor heart procedure, too weak to attempt many of the traditional items that I normally tackle each December. That may be why my children and grandchildren decided to set up the Christmas tree for me. I sat comfortably on the couch and watched as our artificial tree was pieced together, the ornaments were located, and the boxes opened for my grandchildren to explore. At the tender ages of four and one and a half, these precious children smiled with joy at the discovery of each ornament. Carefully they placed them on the tree in a random manner that to them seemed appropriate. My granddaughter sorted colors and shapes, while her younger brother made a nest on one side of the tree and lovingly set the ornaments he treasured in that safe place. Touched by their eagerness to help, the tree was left as they had decorated it, a reminder of that magical night.

I wrote the following poem this morning as I reflected on last year's experience. May I always remember the importance of reaching out to others in love. Gifts don't need to be large or expensive, but if they come from the heart, they are truly the best gifts we can give.

The Best Christmas Gift

Christmas
Can sometimes
Make us feel blue--
It’s sad to say but often true
This time of year we tend to miss
The items that bring true inner bliss
As we try to look impressive with lights and d├ęcor
Sending better Christmas cards than the year before
Tackling tasks we always think we must do this season
While we ignore the all-important behind-the-scenes reason
We celebrate this time of year—a time of hope, and love and cheer—
If we’ll reflect on what the best gift might be, an item not for sale, but given for free:
The love of our Savior—we can extend to others--the people around us, our sisters and brothers
He taught through love and the example He set, showing us it is much better to give than to get
Atoning for a world that doesn’t understand, the importance of being there for our fellow man
To emulate His life is the best gift to give, walking in His footsteps each day that we live
Reach out to those in need—lift the troubled soul
Make kindness, patience, and tolerance a goal
And in time we may begin to finally see
The path He walked in Galilee.
By: Cheri J. Crane

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