Give the Best Gift

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

At this Christmas season, so many people are out looking for gifts to give others. It seems natural to give gifts at this time of year. The magi of old gave incredible gifts to Jesus when he was a babe, or rather a toddler (probably around two).

We read in Matthew:

When they [the magi] saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (2:10-11 NRSV)

These gifts were not just ordinary gifts. They were gifts fit for a king. Their gifts graced a boy who, when he became a man, made a difference and changed the entire world. In the meantime, their gifts must have helped Jesus and his family as he grew up.

Unlike the magi's gifts, our gifts don't need to be opulent. Our gifts can be simple. In fact, they don't need to cost us any money at all. But if our goal is to make a difference, then our gifts need to meet a need or be profound in some way. So when we're considering what gift to get each person, let's ask these questions:

  • What gifts can we give that will make a difference?
  • What is the best gift to give?
  • What do we already have that we can give?
  • What non-thing can we give as a gift?
  • What do others need that we can provide for them?
  • What gifts (or talents) do we have that we can use to help someone else?

Sometimes people really need time to get things done. Others need help around the house. Some may need errands run for them. Others need stories read to them. Some people just need someone to listen to them. Perhaps someone you know needs to feel appreciated. Maybe another needs to feel loved. Perhaps some need meals made for them, songs sung to them, music played for them, or stories told to them. Maybe there are people who need food, clothing, or a place to stay for a little bit. There are so many different "things" or "non-things" that people need.

Sometimes finding the "right" gift can be a challenge. As we pray about what to give each person, we can always look at Jesus' example. He gave us all such amazing gifts. Jesus showed us and taught us how to:

  • include others,
  • value others,
  • refuse to judge others,
  • have compassion,
  • heal,
  • still storms,
  • express joy,
  • put God first,
  • praise God,
  • and love.

f we truly let Love into our hearts and allow Love to guide us as we give our gifts, then we'll find the best gift for each person. And if we truly love each person – and love is (by nature) unconditional, joyous, and infinite – and see the best in each person, see the person God created, then we have given the best gift we can give.

Enjoy giving the best gifts this Christmas season.