Monday, December 13, 2010

The gift list

The Christmas season is in full gear. If you haven't trimmed a tree, decked the halls or jingled bells yet, you're definitely running behind. You don't have to be finished but you really need to have started by now. That goes for shopping for Christmas gifts as well. I have friends who are already done with all their shopping. They have the gifts purchased, wrapped and tucked neatly under the tree. Then I have another friend who hasn't slowed down to make her shopping list yet. She's been busy with work, decorating and other Christmas activities. I'm somewhere in between. I have some gifts purchased and wrapped but there's still a few I've yet to buy.

My gift giving seems to fall into categories. As a make my list I group the gifts accordingly to be sure I haven't forgotten anyone. I have gifts for Greg and kids, my extended family, Greg's family, close friends and our small group from church. Then there's smaller gifts for neighbors, teachers, the mail lady, etc. Not to mention the five birthdays that our family has right around Christmas... whew, someone pass the eggnog!

It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the gift giving but I've learned how to keep the stress of Christmas at bay. At the beginning of the Christmas season I start off by giving one gift right away. I go before the Lord and offer the only things that I could possible give Him – my love, my praise, my time and my attention. You see, when I pledge to love Him, He helps me love others. When I give Him my praise, He shows me things that are praiseworthy. When I give Him my time, He multiplies it. When I give Him my attention, I hear His voice and my heart is drawn to His. I remember that no gift can compare to what He's already given me. That starts the whole feeling of love for Him again...what a great cycle to get caught in!

Putting God first on your list will be a blessing to you and to Him. The stress will be gone and you'll have time spent with Him...isn't that the reason for the season?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, LORD, for it is good.” Psalm 54:6

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