The Perfect Gift

When I was a kid, my sister, brother and I laid awake on Christmas Eve night talking and guessing what wonderful gifts would be under the tree. We eventually fell asleep, but our eagerness woke us again early Christmas morning before the sun. We spread across our beds attempting to coax my little sister to wake mom and dad. She is the baby, and we knew she would not get in trouble for being up too early.

Although Mom and Dad probably had very little sleep, they eventually gave in to our whispers and led us down the hall around the corner to where our Christmas tree stood each year. My dad tied the sliding louvered doors to the living room so we wouldn’t sneak an early peek at our gifts during the night. Once the doors were open, in the dark the lights on the tree spread a cheerful glow on the wrapping paper. Within seconds wrapping paper flew, and we all three squealed with joy. Mom and Dad knew exactly what we wanted.

That dream of receiving the perfect gift is in every heart. You know, its that gift you open that says the giver genuinely knows you, clearly sees and hears you, and most of all loves you. Without you ever mentioning a word {or hinting} about your heart’s desire, there it is in the box before you. When you open the box, your mouth drops open, and your eyes widen as you breathe in a little gasp of surprise. “How did you know? This is exactly what I was hoping for? It’s the perfect gift,” you say.

Giving perfect gifts

Giving perfect gifts is hard. When my children were little, it was much easier. They scoured the toy catalogs circling what they wanted, and I picked a few of the items, and they appeared under the Christmas tree. And they were happy.

Picking out the perfect gift became a little more difficult as they got older. My three sons have three distinct personalities and distinctly different tastes and needs. Each year I would listen carefully for clues and watch what they were doing hoping I would be able to choose the perfect gift or collection of gifts. Today, they are adults and live on their own. So, in November I ask for a list of the top items on their want list. However, I do try to find one little something that says I know you and love you. Sometimes I get it right, and I am overjoyed when I see their faces and hear their voice lift a little.

Receiving perfect gifts

If money, nor time and distance were not an issue, what is that one perfect gift? For a lot of us, we don’t even know what that is? Jewelry? A new car? A big house? What is that one thing that would fulfill every dream?

I’ve discovered that even when I think I received the perfect gift, I haven’t. Once the new is gone and that ideal thing is dusty and used, I want another gift hoping it will satisfy that longing to be known and loved. I’ve learned the perfect worldly gift will never meet that longing to be seen and loved. If we look to worldly gifts to fill our needs, we will never be satisfied and run the risk of making things an idol.

The only perfect gift is from God.

God loves us so much that He sent us the perfect gift. In a tiny baby, we were presented the gift of life and love. There is nothing you and I have to do to receive this gift. We don’t have to straighten up our lives and put on our best behavior. No, all we have to do is say, “Yes, I want Jesus.” Then, we unwrap the greatest gift of all.

In the midst of this giving season, we rack our brains and imaginations trying to come us with the perfect gift for our loved ones. After traveling all over town and scouring the internet, we still worry. Will it fit? Will they use it? Do they need it? Will it be perfect?

Instead, what if we take a deep breath and concern ourselves more with the gift that is perfect and worry less about whether we should include the receipt for returning it to the store.

In 2 Corinthians 9:15, I love the exclamation point! I picture Paul jumping up and down with excitement as he tells his readers about the “surpassing grace God has given you.” You have received the perfect gift and there are no words to describe it.

What if we came up with ways to share that indescribable gift? Like Paul, what if we shared our joy? What if we lingered a little longer with friends? What if we smiled and said hello more often? What if we hugged longer and tighter? What if we loved each other with God’s love and not worldly gifts? This holiday I pray you have the perfect gift, the indescribable gift. If not, make this Christmas the year you unwrap the gift that will last for eternity.

Father God, thank you, praise you for giving us the perfect gift. Help us to share the joy this gift brings us with those who need it most.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Thank you to for Scripture references.

Photos by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash and Ben White on Unsplash

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