A few years ago my grandparents sent us a box of Christmas presents. I unpacked the box and put it in the garage to go out with the trash.
A few days later I gathered the box up with the other trash up to put out on the curb, but as I lifted it, it didn't feel quite empty--like something else might still be in there.
I looked into the box and saw one more present. I tore open the bright green paper and held one of the most treasured gifts I have ever received.
It was a scrapbook my grandmother had made for me.
It was full of photos--many I'd never seen before. It held letters I'd written to my grandparents when I was in Kindergarten and stick-figure drawings my tiny hands had scrawled.
To this day it's still so very precious to me. And I almost tossed it out with the crumpled up wrapping paper and empty boxes.
This time of year it is so easy to be so aware of everything that has to be purchased, baked, or accomplished during the month of December. We charge up our video cameras for our childrens' Christmas programs at school, we put stamps on Christmas cards, and we breathe a sigh of relief with the crossing off of each name on our shopping list.
But it's easy to forget the most tremendous gift that has ever been--or will ever be--given...
The God who became flesh and dwelt among us.
The King who submitted to a pauper's birth.
The sinless One who endured a criminal's death.
His name is Jesus.
When you take down the lights and the tree in a few weeks, will you have remembered Jesus?
Or will He be the Christmas gift you miss?