Life is very much like a Christmas gift. Just as gifts are a mystery, life is not always what it appears to be either. Some people wrap their lives in beautiful things. Some have little interest in the packaging.
My family expects to get gifts from me that are in strange boxes. They know that the box does not always indicate what is inside. I was a recycler long before it was the thing to do. I have always reused things.
Some people buy fancy boxes. The boxes these days cost as much as the gift in some cases. Oh, they are decorative, but they are anything but strong. This year I had to redo one family member's gift because it caused the box to collapse when I attempted to pick it up!
Our family reuses things. Gift bags get passed around from year to year. It has always been that way. I remember a pretty little box that came to us with delicious candy inside. When the box was empty I kept it so that I could use it again. That box passed through the family for years giving gifts to many family members. I am not really sure what eventually happened to it, but it is now gone.
The last couple years I have done something different. To consolidate the gift-giving process I now use large boxes and pack them full of goodies. That means less presents to open, but with the children all getting older it works. It means I wrap some pretty large boxes, but in the end it means a lot less wrapping.
By the time you read this the gifts have been given. They are all unwrapped. Some gifts are probably already broken for that is just how things are these days.
There is one gift that will never go out of style. The true meaning of Christmas lies with the Baby in the manger. To think that God would present himself to us as a child is a wonder in itself. There was no fanfare in the first Christmas. It was history in the making. A virgin girl and a carpenter became the earthly parents of Emmanuel, meaning God with us.
Each year I am humbled by the magnanimity of the event. God presented his son in a humble manner. The son grew up experiencing all of the ups and downs that most children experience. After a short ministry he died on the cross becoming the Savior of the world. Now, that is some gift!