“The Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel-God with us.” Isaiah 7:14 NLT
Never was there a place like my grandmother’s house during Christmas.
For four years, I was the only grandchild on my father’s side of the family. I don’t remember those Christmases, but I’m sure the presents abounded. I do, however, remember those that came after the next four grandchildren came along.
My grandfather was an ice cream delivery man and made only a meager salary. My grandmother worked at the local hospital as a nurses’ aid. Her salary was meager as well, but she had a charge card. She also had money taken from her check each week and placed in a Christmas fund. As Christmas neared, the tree in the corner of the living room began bulging with presents. The stack grew until it was one half as high as the tree itself. I-along with the other grandchildren, couldn’t wait to dive in.
Mom and Dad-or my aunt and uncle, couldn’t compete with my grandmother’s extravagance. They did, however, continue the tradition. Eat first, sit in a circle in the den, have the oldest grandchildren distribute the gifts, and then open all the gifts. When my grandmother retired and could no longer afford to buy so many gifts, Mom took over the tradition.
Christmas at my grandparents was enjoyable-and not just because of the abundance of gifts. Eating together, rehearsing old memories, and catching up on each other’s lives made the celebration-whether the Christmas stack was plenteous or not. We had each other.
As my grandmother gave abundantly, so did God. A baby born in a cave and laid in a feeding trough-and to parents from an insignificant town-might not seem like abundant giving on God’s part, but it was. This small baby was God’s gift to the world-a gift that still has far-reaching effects for those who choose to accept Him as God’s Messiah.
This small baby would die on a cross 33 years later and pay for the sins of humanity. All who accept God’s gift have their sins forgiven and are assured of an abundant eternity. Though we may be possession poor, we can be spiritually rich.
Are you celebrating Christmas abundance?
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of abundance You gave us in the birth of Your Son.
Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA