This year, I have one gift that I can hardly wait to give. I have at least a dozen presents under the tree, but this year there is one; one gift I am most excited about giving.
A gift that will give all the other gifts more meaning, more life, more love.
I am a complex gift-giver. For a long time, I have tried to fight the fact that I love giving good gifts.
I am the one who will scour the internet for the perfect gift that holds either a part of your past, your present or your history. I harbor hints of jealousy for those that can go to Kohls the night before Christmas and satisfy their Christmas list. But I am learning to own that this love of gift-giving is not a bad one. Because haven’t I received the best gifts and felt loved?
And I simply want to return the favor.
But I have always struggled. How do I keep my family focused on Jesus as each gift is unwrapped? How do I teach my children that this day is actually the unwrapping of grace and mercy and love touching us from heaven?
How do I give this to my kids and give them presents?
How do I teach them what is temporary and what is eternal?
I can now.
I can do both through this gift.
Under my tree is a small box. It is wrapped just as pretty, just as shiny (because it might just be the shiniest gift of all.)
And inside is a candle. A simple candle. One that I plan to burn 365 days this year, placed where we can all see. A candle that will hold the unwrapping of all that grace and mercy and love to cut through the darkness when we need it to be pierced.
Because when faced with the dilemma of gift-giving it has always been the argument of the temporary. But that toy, it’s just temporary. That computer, temporary. That sweater will be on next season’s clearance rack. That piece of technology will be outdated in years, if not months.
The temporary essence of man-made gifts has always broken my heart for the eternity of heaven.
But now I am bringing the eternity of heaven to my home, through light.
Because He is light.
“His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from his hand. And there is the hiding of His power.” Habakkuk 3:4
This year, I plan on gathering around the Christmas tree in our pajamas with every hint of anticipation dripping in the air. I plan on soaking in the giggles and joy from two little blondes. And before we dive into the magic of it all, I plan on us sitting criss-cross apple sauce opening our candle and explaining what waits for us in heaven and how heaven is what we are celebrating when a baby was unwrapped in a manger.
I plan on telling them hope is actually light for eternity.
My two-year-old won’t understand it and my three-year-old will only ask me to open her next present. But maybe when they are 10 and 12 they will remember. Or maybe when they are 16 and 17. Regardless, I will remember and I will light my candle each morning, just briefly to remember
light for eternity.
The hope of heaven has come.