Recently I asked my staff to share one of their favorite Christmas memories.  Some were funny, some touching and some sad.  The emphasis of this season seems to make memories have a bit more sticking power.  My Christmas memory went back many years to the time I was ten years old.  We had gone to my Grandparents house as we always did on Christmas Eve to celebrate with our family.  There were aunts and uncles and cousins and we were always glad to see one another.  However, as kids, the first thing we were glad to see was all the presents under Grandma’s tree. This particular year there was one present that was significantly larger than all the others.  We all eyed it with great passion hoping that it would have our name on it.  My grandmother did not put names on the gifts so the anticipation lasted up until it was time to pass them out.  As it turned out, the gift was for me!  I couldn’t believe it.  I am not sure that it would have mattered what was underneath the wrapping paper. I got the “Big” one.  I can almost remember the full measure of the joy I felt when my name was called.  It was a good memory.

As Christmas approaches and we are busy giving and receiving gifts of all kinds, I think there is something very important to remember. The “Big” gift belongs to each of us.  Of all the things that we can put on our list there is one wonderful thing that is given to all.  God loved each of us so much that He sent His Son into the world. I know it’s Christmas and I am supposed to say that, but think about it.  Because of this gift we have eternal life guaranteed.  Because of this gift we have access to God anytime and anywhere.  Because of this gift we have power to overcome anything that this broken world throws at us.  Because of this gift we have access to a Joy that in unexplainable.  What other gift could be this good. Trust me when I say that we received the “Big” gift!

I hope and pray that you get as excited by this “Big” gift as I did about mine many years ago.  It is so wonderful that I now get to celebrate the “Biggest” gift each and every Christmas.  So I wish you all Christmas joy as you celebrate this Holy season.  Oh, by the way, the big gift at my Grandmother’s house was an official NFL electronic football game, complete with vibrating field!  Merry Christmas!