I love gifts. I look forward to doling out candy next week in exchange for the opportunity to greet fairies, Jedi knights, and charming little zombies. One month later, Thanksgiving will bring comfort food and the blessing of shared company. Sixty-one days from now, the best day of the year arrives for an explosion of wrappings and joy. At the risk of sounding like Will Ferrell’s Elf character, CHRISTMAS IS MY FAVORITE!
I’ve already bought a few things for my family. Once the perfect idea comes to mind, I’m on a mission. The next step, creating anticipation, often proves as much fun as the unveiling. Misleading weights, rattles, and box shapes enhance curiosity. No spoilers. I cherish those elated gasps, when a present exceeds expectations. All the effort and patience proves worthwhile in that precious moment of surprise.
My giving style begins with how I receive. An extraordinary gift makes my day. My eyes twinkle in the sparkle of glittery ribbons and bows, but other gifts thrill me just the same. If my kids did chores without being asked, I’d offer a high-five to Jesus. I became a loyal Publix customer during my second pregnancy because a bagger changed my flat tire.
Windfall moments captivate my attention. My mood soars according to the measure of my gratitude. Thankfulness motivates me to give, which compounds my joy. I long for the new opportunities to recharge my spirit. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait for holidays or spontaneous boons.
Some of life’s loveliest blessings surround us each day. Not bedazzled or demonstrated with gestures, these beauties lie hidden in their ordinariness. And if we don’t look for them, we risk missing out on our gifts.
If you’d like to receive blessings to better give them, here are three beautiful gifts to unwrap each day.
Nature surrounds us, which is why we so often ignore its blessings. Contemplate the fantastic microcosm within a blade of grass, which drinks sunshine and blows oxygen kisses to passersby. Try counting the shades of green on a tree branch, or look beyond it to marvel in the brilliant skyscape. The most urbane setting carries evidence of nature’s mark. The strong will of a weed. A rainbow of produce brightening the city market. Painting our world with a melange of blessings, creation affords us beautiful gifts each day.
Some days require a more diligent search, but laughter rings somewhere within reach. Search for videos, jokes, memes. Make friends with a snorter, so you can call when needed. Better yet, seek delight in the faces of children or the antics of animals. Baby giggles are contagious. I just spent twenty minutes checking the evidence to support this fact on YouTube. Best. Research. Ever. When laughter erupts from your lips, pass it along. The blessing will ripple out in a delightful tide and find its way back to benefit you.
In a dreary season, hope seems to elude those who wish for better times. We wish for health, money, or an end to loneliness. Although many use the words interchangeably, wishes focus on what we want and do not hold, but hope believes it holds a secure promise. Unlike wishes, hope anchors itself in a foundation steadier than circumstances. Hope requires faith in something which transcends life and will sustain us in troubled times. Christians anchor their faith and hope in Christ. Faith acknowledges the reality beyond our line of sight. There’s more than this. A brighter dawn awaits at the end of this chilling night. When we choose to hope in eternal blessings, nothing can steal our most precious gift.
Will you unwrap your blessings today? How has gratitude sparked a giving spirit for you? Take a moment to share your insights with us.