by Robin Alcala
What was one of your favorite childhood Christmas gifts that you received? My all-time favorite was when my Chrissy Prissy doll made her home in my heart. She was beautiful and her hair would grow as I pulled it! Now how fun is that?
I get a Santa belly laugh when I hear of what some children have asked for. Like one little girl asked for a can of chocolate frosting and a spoon, a fifteen-year old boy asked for a pound of bacon. A ten-year old asked for a butler, and another child asked for olives, pickles, and vinegar. A four-year old girl asked for a rainbow and a mountain. A three-year old girl asked for glow in the dark pull ups. While a four-year old boy asked for Mr. Clean magic erasers. Another precious child asked if it could be Christmas every day!
Though the dearest gift of all, amongst all ages is the simple gift of love. We all want to feel that we are significant and that we belong. That’s because we have been created to be loved.
In Charlie Brown’s Christmas video, he was seeking the true meaning of Christmas. In the process, he found a little straggly tree for his play’s Christmas tree. In which, his peers ridiculed and laughed at his choice. His friends did not see the same value or beauty.
Have you ever had your value or what you valued be undermined and treated as insignificant? Are there choices in life, that made you feel as Charlie Brown expressed, “Everything I touch gets ruined?” Have you found that you have ruined your health, your wealth, and possibly some relationships along life’s way?
As Charlie saw something of worth in his little tree, so did God; as He took something so small, and seemingly insignificant like a newborn baby born in a stable. Jesus was God’s gift of love wrapped up and given to us.
Just as Linus wrapped his beloved blanket around the needy little tree, and said, “All it needs is a little love, and it will grow!” God presented us with His best, “All you need is a little love, and you will grow!”
How that scraggly little seedling was transformed into a lovely Christmas tree is an example of the power of love. Kind, caring, patient, love filled words will water, strengthen and encourage little trees to grow. The power of love will create ordinary individuals into extraordinary people. The reality of God’s love will turn any woman into a wonder woman, and an average man into a superman!
When we receive this gift of love, it enables us to love ourselves, and in turn be more capable of loving others. We are free, not only to forgive ourselves, but to extend the same gracious gift of forgiveness to others as well.
God’s gift of love will empower us to treat others with proper value and respect, because we will realize our own self-worth. There will be no need to prove anything to anyone else, because God has already validated us.
When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, it makes it a lot easier to have healthy relationships with others. Because what we believe about ourselves will determine our feelings. Too often, those feelings will determine how we treat others. We express how we feel about ourselves and others, through our attitudes, words and actions. We are either communicating honor or dishonor.
We should accept one another, just as Christ has accepted us (Romans 5:7). Always being humble and gentle. Being patient with others, and making allowances for each other’s faults because of our love (Ephesians 4:2). God’s love never excludes, but always includes.
Love does not exclude because someone is different or because they are not just like us! Thank God, they are not. If there were multiples of us it would actually depreciate our worth. The fact that we are unique and rare makes us even more valuable.
Neither does love ignore someone because they are not meeting our standards and regulations. Love will not write people off because they aren’t what we think they should be. We can give the gift of love, though we may not agree with them. We may not agree with or love their lifestyle or choices, but we can still love them. Often times, it is easier to live in peace with others if we are living in peace with ourselves. When we are mad at ourselves, we tend to be mad at the world too.
Where someone is today, does not necessarily indicate where they’ll end up tomorrow. Love’s demeanor is always constructive and never destructive. It is only by the grace of God we are not facing the same struggles. If we had been where they have been, gone through what they have gone through, would we have done even as well as they have?
We need to love people for who they are, and not for who we expect them to be. This gift of love, is patient with imperfect people. That includes being patient and loving towards our own self too!
The gift of love is powerful. Transforming, growing, beautifying everything in its path. It heals, breaks down barriers, unites, and accepts.
With this priceless gift of Christ, love is wrapped up throughout the year, which makes Christmas every day! Now let us go, and be the package that Love is wrapped up in!