Christmas comes twice in our home. The first Christmas is marked by the early December mailing deadlines that we have for packages and cards for our friends who are deployed. We shop, we wrap, we pack, we write. We fill out customs forms. We look for just the right thing to brighten the day of our friends. We send them off with love.
The second Christmas comes today. We prepare for it much the same way. We shop, we wrap, often we pack, we write. We look for just the right thing to brighten the day of our family and friends. We send them off with love.
Today, we will sit around the tree and open the gifts that have been given to us. But, what is in the package does not mean as much as the fact that someone shopped, wrapped, packed and sent off with love a gift for us. Or, that someone took time to write us a card. Under the tree is a box from Kansas. I don't know what is in it, but I do know who it is from. A young soldier we supported last year. I don't care what is in the box. What matters is that he sent us his love. It's arrival was a huge surprise. The box could be empty and it would mean just as much. Christmas Eve morning - early, very early, it was still dark - the phone rang, and another young soldier was calling to say, "I'm back from Iraq!" These gifts are the ones that we cherish most - the acknowledgement that we have made a positive influence on someone else - it doesn't get much better than that! We receive them with love.
Throughout the days of Christmas, we have been blessed to receive so many kindnesses. We have been given the gifts of confidences - sharing joys and sorrows, requests for prayers, prayers offered to us, friendships - old ones celebrated and new ones made.
In my life, I have learned a great many things. But, the most important thing I have learned is the joy of giving and graciousness of receiving. If these things are done with love, it doesn't matter what is in the box, because the blessing is the gift of love.
We have been blessed, truly blessed. As God blessed us with his Son, He blesses us still with the love that He encourages us to give and receive. Our wish for you ~ May the Blessings of Christmas be with You!!!