“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-14

The joy of Christmas is best experienced as a child. I can say that now with the experience of 50 Christmas’s behind me, nothing even comes close to the giddy excitement of my youth on Christmas morning. The excitement was so intense that sleep was impossible. My mother would make a rule: “NOBODY comes downstairs before 6:00.” I would awaken about 4:00 and lie in bed trying to fall back asleep, but sleep would not come. I would listen for sounds of movement in the house, but it was silent. Minutes would tick by slowly, three hours of waiting felt like years.

You have probably had those same memories. It is the hope of giving those same memories that prompt us to spend outlandish sums of money on trinkets that are not really worth the expense. Most of the presents that Margaret and I have bought for our children over the years were not worth the price, but we wanted to provide a perfect present, a moment of memory that would last a lifetime. When the magic happens, it is worth it!

I like to think that God delights in our attempt to find the perfect present. To give a gift that will inspire a lifetime of good memories, for when we give lavish gifts, we reflect the lavish giving of our Father in Heaven.

He gave mankind shockingly amazing gifts from the beginning. Think of it: He made us in His Image (something He did not do for any other created being, including angels). He breathed life into us (again, unique among all created beings). He gave us a kingdom (earth was made for us to rule over). Then when we messed up by sinning, he paid the price of that HUGE mistake (death was required) by sacrificing His own Son. Christmas is a celebration that reflects the joy of getting the most awesome gift that has ever been (or will ever be) given.

So have a wonderful Christmas Greystone Girls! I will be shocked if anyone reads this Devotion, but if you do I hope that you will do two things:

Say thank you to your parents, family, and friends for the gifts that you get this Christmas. They were given with high hopes and your sincere words of thanks will make it all worthwhile. Write them a nice letter with lots of details and even draw a picture or two, don’t forget that camp is a HUGE gift.

Say thank you to God. He gives you the best gifts and it brings Him great delight when you say thank you, especially for saying thank you for Jesus!

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