We are only a handful of days from Christmas, and you might be like me and still thinking about the perfect gift. Through the years, I have discovered repeatedly that the best things in life cannot be bought but are given from the soul. Here are the three most valuable things you can give this season.
- Your Time. The most expensive thing in the world is time. The gift of time may be a few minutes of sitting quietly beside someone you love. It may be having an adventure with your kids instead of giving more toys. Put aside all distractions and focusing your attention on someone is a beautiful gift.
- A Listening Ear. Many people feel so alone this time of year. They look on social media and see all the things to which they were not invited. If you take the time (see above) to sit down and share a drink while listening to them, you are giving a special gift. Slowly I am learning; it doesn’t even have to be in person. You can listen through a telephone, share an email or text with reckless abandon. The gift of sitting and listening without judgment, advice or self-absorbed stories is something everyone wants.
- The Hope You Possess. For those of us who take our faith seriously, Christmas is a meaningful time because it connects people to Jesus. I am not saying you beat people over the head with the Bible, and most believers know that (unfortunately not all). I am saying, shine the light of God’s grace through your life. Speak with grace and kindness. See the good in people. Give without expecting anything in return. Be different in how you handle the holidays. Allow your life to be unique, and when someone asks about it, share with them the hope you have in Jesus. I firmly believe this is what everyone needs the most, and yet it is what we talk about the least.
I think these are the three most significant gifts you can give to anyone. Often, we label these as “love.” I am afraid love can become kind of a blanket we throw over everything that really means nothing. Love requires actions. The acts of being present, listening, and sharing your faith are gifts no one can give but you. May you share them abundantly this holiday season.