Christmas is pouncing on us this year due to such a late Thanksgiving! But, never fear – there is a way to get ready for Christmas with this challenge: find invisible gifts to give this Christmas. These gifts are the least expensive, least time consuming and yet most satisfying of all that you could experience this season. And you could, without a word, share the gospel so sweetly and so profoundly that you may even win others to the Lord this Christmas.
Below you will find my top 10 list of invisible gifts to give this Christmas – are you ready?
10. Laughter: I believe it is more contagious than yawning. See if your household doesn’t catch it!
9. Eye contact: Come out of hiding from your to do list! Let’s not be so busy with the agenda of the hour, that we miss the whole reason for the agenda. Enjoy peering into the windows of the souls around you. You’ll be amazed at what you see.
8. Hugs: Yes – of course, make sure you don’t overwhelm guests, etc., but when appropriate, I’m talking bear hug. You know, the one that wraps you in love so big that suddenly it feels like everything is going to be ok.
7. Give up the parking space: Tom and I were at a free parking deck down at NC State University for a Christmas concert – both he and another car coming the opposite way had blinkers on vying for the same space. Tom gave up the spot. Yes, we found another spot, just around the corner. It cost us about an extra minute.
6. Give up the feast (or change your approach to it): Scripture says it so well – Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it, than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1). I have this rule ‘Don’t talk to me when I’m in the kitchen!’ I have burned myself to0 many times, forgotten the vanilla extract in favorite cakes, put cinnamon instead of poultry seasoning into the stuffing mix…I’m sure you have your own horror stories! I know you want that perfect feast and everyone around you wants it, too. But, consider the cost as well. So rare do we have our families around us. How do you want to “be” around them?
5. Thank everyone: A clerk at Harris Teeter showed me a cheaper version of the Parmesan cheese I was about to buy. I looked her in the eye (see point 2) and said thank you. It was a moment I still remember, because I was actually participating in it. Everyone is stressed and busy to some degree this time of year. Take the time to thank them.
4. Smiles: When I was video taping for our Promised Land Living video, I was instructed to smile and let the camera run for a few seconds. It was so awkward! But I decided after that to try practice smiling. And I found that the more I smile the less insincere I feel when I do. All the makeup, moisturizers and hair coloring in the world can’t replace or top the beauty of a sincere smile. It lights up a room – and can lift up a soul.
3. Share anything and everything: Whatever you have, share it. And wait to see what comes back to you!
2. Prayers for your neighbors: Every day, lift someone up in prayer. Do you know their names? Maybe that is the place to start. Know their names, but not their situations? Maybe that’s the place to begin. Whatever the starting point, pray and watch God work.
And now for my top invisible gift this Christmas – the gift to not only those around you, but to you as well:
1. Forgiveness: A relative sent me a private message that was really rough – basically telling me that if I had worked at her company, she would have fired me for something I said. The problem is, it was something I said over a year ago and I couldn’t for the life of me even remember the conversation! But, I immediately, at her prompt, sought forgiveness. Within 24 hours, I received the gift of total pardon and an aunt that seemed more in tune with the love of Christ in me. Praise you, Lord!
Someone will probably get mad at you this Christmas. Or you may get mad at someone else. Want to give them an invisible gift? Give them forgiveness. Receive it from Jesus and ‘regift’ it!
Praying that you have a Jesus-filled and invisible gift filled Christmas!