Holidays Old People webMany gift-giving holidays surface this time of year: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Eid-al-Adha, and Diwali, to name a few. It’s a time of love, obligations, and equality. It’s a time of love expressed by sharing gifts given for the sheer pleasure of seeing the sheer pleasure in the recipient. It’s a time of obligation when you feel you have to give Uncle Gaspar a present because, after all, it is Christmas, and he’s related in some mysterious way that even Henry Louis Gates, Jr., can’t trace. It’s a time of equality when you hope Cousin Itt gives you a gift card equal in value to the one you got him.

There’s an old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” As we look at what we call, “the true meaning of Christmas,” we see that in the spiritual realm, it really is the gift that counts. The value and meaning of the gifts of God transcend any material gifts we can give or receive, and present a model for giving that can revolutionize our holiday traditions and reflect the love of God. The most well-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This is the ultimate act of love giving the ultimate gift for the ultimate purpose: to grant eternal life. There is no material value but infinite spiritual value — God gave the gift of Himself.

Memories are rarely made through material possessions. Once the batteries die, the next upgrade renders it obsolete, the wheels fall off, and the fruitcake dries, what’s left? But the knowledge that you have helped a needy person who cannot give back (OK, hugs, handshakes, and happy grins do count!), has great worth. Sharing opportunities of service with children opens their eyes to a real world beyond screens and teaches them valuable, lasting life lessons.

The gifts God gives are gifts for an abundant life: eternal life (John 3:16), the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), justification (Romans 5:16), spiritual gifts of service (1 Corinthians 12), and grace (Ephesians 4:7). Furthermore, the gifts God gives cannot be returned (Who would want to?): “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Gifts of memorable events and time together can be recalled, but in a good sense — we can recall memories over and over again and keep them stored in our hearts. God is not obligated to give us anything; that’s what makes His gifts so wonderful. He gives out of the boundless goodness of His heart. “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” (Psalm 35:27). The Psalmist takes comfort and says, “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me” (Psalm 40:17). If God can stoop to take thought for the destitute, how much more should we unselfishly share with our fellow creatures who can return nothing?

God sees us all as equals, and equal we are. He does not give the same gifts to everyone, but He treats everyone the same. Listen to what the Christ of Christmas says, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44–45). Equality is not in the value of the gift, but the value of the person. Don’t forget the most precious gift that you can give Jesus Christ for his birthday. That is the gift of yourself (Romans 12:1)!

More Lifestyle Articles

  • Celebrate Older Americans Month

    Celebrating Older Americans Month all older adults are encouraged to blaze a trail to civic engagement. Civic Engagement means working to make a difference in the lives of your community and its...

  • Strange and Unusual Facts

    William Marston engineered one of the earliest forms of the polygraph in the early 1900’s. Later he went on to create the comic strip Wonder Woman, a story about a displaced Amazon princess who...

  • ’69: Looking Back

    Do you remember ‘69? 1969, that is, not when you were 69! If you can’t get out and jog, you can jog your memory with these nostalgic lists!  Herein we have lists of memorable items that were notable...

  • ’Sno Time Like the Present

    Twelve hours ago, I was fast asleep, and there were 3-4 inches of fresh snow on the ground. Now, there is barely a trace on the ground, and the temperature is in the mid-40s. Welcome to February in...

  • “Small House” Design Nurtures Residents with Dementia

    Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is challenging. In addition to the emotional difficulty of seeing a loved one struggle cognitively, there are marked differences in how...

  • 10 Tips on How To Take Dad Fishing

    (BPT) - What are two things that dads all over America would love to do the most this coming summer? Spend time with their kids — and catch fish.So, if you're looking for a unique way to celebrate your...

  • 16th Annual Unsung Hero Event

    Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services is accepting nominations for Unsung Heroes! To celebrate Older American's Month, the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services recognizes Lehigh County...

  • 1972: Looking Back

      The Honda Civic is imported to the U.S. for the first time. President Nixon signs a bill authorizing a $5.5 billion, 6-year program, to develop a Space Shuttle craft. The U.S. Surgeon General...

  • A “Short” Biography of Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule, Jr., on September 23, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York.Rooney passed away April 6, 2014, at the age of 93. Joe Yule, Jr., only 17 months old, joined his parents on the...

  • A Clean House Means Peace of Mind: A History of Spring Cleaning

    The first signs of spring create excitement in the Lehigh Valley and throughout the Northeast. After four months or more of staying inside because of cold, snow and rain, we can hardly wait to...

Contact Us

Please enter your data here. Fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
Please provide us with a phone number or email so we may respond to your request.

Full Name(*)

Please type your full name.


Invalid email address.


Invalid Input- please enter in form: 123-456-7890

How may we be of service?(*)

Please tell us how big is your company.

If you wish to subscribe enter your full address.

Invalid Input

Please enter the characters shown.(*)
Please enter the characters shown.
Invalid Input