Christmas time…and we are busy shopping for those perfect gifts for our family and friends. The packages will be wrapped in colorful, holiday paper and placed under our beautifully decorated trees. There will be much anticipation and excitement about what might be inside those packages and if the items will meet the expectations of those who will open them.
I remember as a little girl, coming home to our family farm after church on Christmas Eve, my sisters and brother and I would be watching for Santa’s magical sleigh and wondering what gifts he might have brought us. Seeing the packages under our tinseled tree was a dream. That new doll, game, or sweater, brought joyful smiles to our faces. We did not realize at the time, how much love and care our mother put into selecting those gifts for us and that she and our dad sacrificed to save for their purchase.
When I grew up, got married and we had our own family, our children too, enjoyed the wonder and magic of Christmas. The presents under the tree, their own wishes come true, were selected and placed there with much love and care from us. My heart was happy to share in their childhood joy and wonder.
But the items that were inside those pretty packages were not really the gifts at all. The thoughtfulness, love and kindness in the hearts and hands of those who gave those presents were the true gifts. My most cherished Christmas memories were the moments we spent together as a family. The joy, love and gratitude I felt was a very special gift.
This Christmas, as I reflect on Christmases past, I cherish the love we shared and the happy memories we made. Since my husband passed away, these memories are an even greater gift. And though he is no longer with us, I know that he is now with other loved ones, celebrating Christmas with the greatest gift of all.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Unwrap the package and open the gift…the gift of God’s love and the love we share with the people in our lives. Merry Christmas.
Judy Sorensen is a member of the Sheridan Women’s Ministry Team. She is a long time member of Sheridan and is involved with Tanzanian missions, Grace Group, Women’s Circle and the Music Ministry, as a worship leader. Judy is a retired kindergarten teacher and works part-time as a consultant for Opportunity Education. She and her husband, Rocky, who passed away in June 2017, have four married children and five granddaughters who are the joy of her life. She feels so blessed to be a part of the Sheridan community.