I was with a good friend today and we had talked about some old homes we had seen. Even the home I live in is quite old, having been built in 1919. Anyway, I remarked on the lack of closet space. My friend's response was "Well, people did not have a lot of possessions in earlier days. If you had one good pair of boots, you made them last. Generally people did not have households jam packed with clothes, games, toys and whatever else people buy. You pretty much had the essentials of life in those days. That thought made me reflect on something from my childhood days. At Christmas time, my grandparents were always generous toward us. My great regret is that at that time in life I did not absorb the message of Christmas. I dressed up and went caroling with children; we sang the message of Jesus birth, however, I did not receive a true understanding. I really wish I had understood and had expressed to my grandparents the love of Christ.
It seems hard for us to realize it at times, but the Lord wants a relationship with us on a deep and abiding level. Perhaps we have some understanding of that fact and yet draw away toward the world as if pulled by a magnet. Or perhaps there has never been a time of real understanding, but if we reach out for it, the Holy Spirit will open that door. We don't need to fill our lives up with distractions which money can buy at Christmas or any other time.
Jesus talked about giving things up as needed and not hanging onto worry and fear. We could have all the money and possessions in the world, and yet remain totally unstable if not anchored in the knowledge of Christ. Jesus talked about the Kingdom of Heaven, which heart and soul, we can partake of if we will only receive with understanding. And so, we need a relationship with the Lord which draws us close. We should read God's word, drink it in, and spend time in prayer. And whatever we do, whatever life brings our way, in a time of bounty or despair, turn to the Lord.
I give thanks to the Lord for the times I had as a child with my wonderful grandparents. It took years for me to see their love as a measure of God's love which is beyond our earthly comprehension. That understanding is the "gift" I received.