John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Contrary to the advice of well-meaning parents around the world, Christmas is about getting not giving. I know what your mother or first grade teacher told you because she also told it to me. When the oh-so-enjoyable hobbies of Toys-R-Us ad-browsing and gift-counting reared its selfish head, I would get pulled aside and reminded, “Christmas means giving, not getting.” As much as I then appreciated the cliché advice, those words forced me to think of others.

No doubt, Christmas involves giving. Surely the bows and ribbons give the season a magical feeling. But, lost somewhere between a stack of gifts and a pile of wrapping paper, we forget that we don’t give the true gift of Christmas — we receive it.

God so loved humanity and His creation that he gave his only Son. The gift of Jesus brings freedom, hope, satisfaction, and especially at this time of year, peace. The wonder of Christmas comes when we receive a gift, not when we give one.

This year rather than focusing on the burden of giving, remind yourself of the great gift God gave us, the dawning of salvation with Jesus’ arrival.

Whether you have never met Jesus before or you have shared this holiday with him for years, remember the difference Christmas and the gift of Jesus makes. Receiving, not giving, demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas. God has given you Jesus. In all our giving, let us remember to receive him.