Do you have your baking done? Is you shopping finished? Do you have the house cleaned? Are you packed for traveling? There are so many things to get done to “do” Christmas.

Isn’t it time to let go of some of the expectations for a “perfect” Christmas and really enjoy this time with our families? I’m issuing a challenge to myself to today, and to you if you want to take it, to drink in my relationships and let go of my “to do” list for today and tomorrow. No my gifts aren’t all wrapped yet, but I’ve got a few gifts to give that can’t be wrapped.

I want to give the gift of listening today. I want to make sure that when my children and my husband speak to me, I look into their eyes. I want them to feel that they are special. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are in the way of what I need to do. They are what I need to do. Lord, let me give the gift of listening today.

I want to give the gift of time today. When my son asks me to play video games with him, I’m going to stop what I am doing to play with him. Playing video games is not my most favorite thing to do, but it’s one of his, so I must value it, too. I recently heard the convicting response of a young girl when asked what kind of message she would give to parents from a child’s point of view. She responded, “Parents have too many tomorrows. Tomorrow I’ll play ball with you. Tomorrow we’ll bake cookies together. Tomorrow I will play that game. Most of the time tomorrow never comes.” Lord, let me give the gift of time today.

I want to give the gift of touch today. Have you ever gone through the day or the week and realized that you really haven’t given out any hugs lately? People have the need to touch and be touched. Our children need hugs from mom and dad daily. (Yes, even our teens!) I’m going to make sure that my husband gets a bear hug today. When my daughter comes in to tell me a story, I will try to remember to touch her as we interact. Lord, let me give the gift of touch today.

I want to give the gift of encouragement today. I want to make sure I tell my daughter how much I appreciate the responsibility she has been taking on lately. I want my son to know that I think he has been doing well in his school work. I want my husband to know I greatly appreciate how hard he works to support our family. Sometimes the people we live with receive the least verbal encouragement from us. Lord, let me give the gift of encouragement today.

I want to give the gift of Jesus today. Since we are celebrating His birthday, I want to make sure that we invite Him to the celebration. When I’m tempted to skip that Christmas Eve service  because I still have too much to do, I will resist that temptation, gather the family, and make sure we take time to worship together. Lord, let me give the gift of Jesus today.

Yes, the gifts aren’t all wrapped and the food isn’t all prepared. But I want to do it with my family, not for them. I want to give them the kinds of gifts that can’t be placed in a box and wrapped in red and green paper.

Come on, join me. Fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down, put your feet up, and gaze at the Christmas tree lights for a few minutes. Think about the incredible blessings God has given to you. Thank Him. Ponder the gifts that can be given today that don’t need to be wrapped. Lord, thank you for the gift of family you have given to me.

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