Friday, December 5, 2014

DEVOTION: Christmas Gifts ~ by Shirley Corder

It will soon be Christmas. Again! By now all, or at least most of you, have your Christmas presents wrapped and ready to put under the tree.

What have you done about greetings? How do people know the gift is from you?

Because I make my own cards, I print small greetings with appropriate pictures, depending on who the recipient is. So my little granddaughter, Samantha, may get a picture of the angel at the top of the Christmas tree. My grandson, Timmy, a few years older, may get a Christmas tree laden with gifts. I have to admit, the actual greeting lacks both the personal touch and creativity.

"Have a Happy Christmas Timmy, Love Granny and Grandpa."

"Merry Christmas Sammy, We love you, Granny and Grandpa."

When our own children were growing up at home, one of our sons always caused a chuckle. He either couldn't be bothered with labels, or he forgot them. I'm not sure which. But we could always be sure the gifts under the trees without labels were from him. If we picked one up without a label, he would call out, "That's for Dad," or "That's Debbie's."

The other day, I read of a man who was coordinator for an organisation that sends gifts from incarcerated fathers to their children. He described the sort of greetings these fathers, who had all the time in the world to think, wrote to their children.*

"You are precious, perfect and deeply loved. Merry Christmas."

"Always and forever I think of you and love you. Happy Christmas."

Are we in too much of a hurry when we scribble those last-minute cards or stickers to attach to our hastily-wrapped presents? Or is it that we think, probably correctly, that the recipient is going to be in so much of a rush when they rip open the gift, they'll barely glance at the message. So why waste the time?

Over 2,000 years ago, God sent us a gift. It was one He had planned ever since Adam and Eve took their illicit snack and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. He sent His one and only Son to carry that special message to you and to me. "God so loved the world" - that's you: Mary, Lisa, Ruth . . . put in your own name - "that He gave His only Son, that whoever" (i.e. if you -  Mary, Lisa, Ruth . . . ) "believes in Him will have eternal life."

The gift? Salvation.

The Message? God so loved . . . (you)

The Messenger? Jesus Christ.

All planned from the beginning. All sent with such love. All given with so much thought and care for our well-being.

Maybe we should revisit the Christmas greetings we use this year. It's easy to say, "Happy Christmas!" But is there something more we should be saying?

My prayer for each of you is that this Christmas season you will remember the very first Christmas gift. May the message you receive and pass on be one that speaks of God's incredible love for each one of us. No matter your circumstances, may you be blessed by our Lord and Saviour this Christmas time.

(*Illustration by Charles P. Axe--The Secret Place--December 15 2010)

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SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on her time in the cancer valley, where God gave her so many gifts that she's still unwrapping some of them. 
Please visit Shirley through, where she encourages writers, or at, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook 


  1. What wonderful thoughts. My mom and her dad used to write poems and riddles on theirs. Sometimes it was just fun, others held great meaning. Lately I've enjoyed using it as a way to flirt with my husband--letting him know how amazing he is.

    1. Thanks for sharing this precious memory, Angela. Be blessed this Christmas!

  2. Really enjoyed these reflections, Shirley. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment Adele. I'm glad the thoughts mean something to you. Have a great Christmas.