I’m excited! Are you excited? This Christmas is exciting and new and so very wonderful! There is so much gift to be absolutely excited about. Sooo much gift. Now, I have to admit that I’ve pretty much grown past the stage that I stare at the carefully wrapped boxes under the tree and wonder what I could have gotten as a present. I didn’t really do that as a kid, but I was always excited about the gifts, like anyone would have been as a kid. Do you remember your most amazing gift ever? I remember the year of the amazing gift as a kid. And as far as being an adult and receiving an amazing gift, well I got my Christmas gift early this year. It just so happens to be that I get to enjoy this Christmas at all. Every day has become a gift that I do not take lightly or flippantly, because I could have been robbed of the experience. So each day is a reminder of how fortunate and “gifted” I am. Pun intended.

Our entire tribe will be here at our place this year. All five of our kids (plus one more, Kylie’s boyfriend) get to make their way to where WE live this year as opposed to us going someplace else. That is a gift! The older kids that are coming here have become amazing people in their individual ways. That is a gift! We are being thought of by so many as I fight to regain what I lost in my stroke. That is such a huge gift! And it continues to go well… so well that I forgot my abilities and tried to live like nothing had happened not so long ago (details are on a facebook post, so if you missed it make a comment and I’ll tell you ┬ámore). Even though the fall set me back a bit on my left side, it seems to have been limited damage and I’m healing just fine. That’s a gift! I have had time to really reflect on a number of things as I have been unable to distract myself with looking for the kind of work that I used to do. Scary sometimes, but that is a gift that I’m coming to terms with. My awesome wife works with me at whatever level of any activity that I can muster. Encouragement and compassion in her steadfast character are an amazing gift! Along with my wife are 2 amazing young gentleman who are supportive and helpful and understanding as well. I can’t imagine what it takes to do that for a father recovering from a serious injury. And they too are a gift!

But this year more than in quite a few, my excitement over gifts is really intensified over THE gift. The big one that got this season rolling in the first place. I am marveling at how the wrapping was so unassuming and totally camouflaged in a package that looked so “normal”. And in a place so unexpected. And dangerous. Only God was powerful enough to find a way to make the whole scenario work out the way it did. The way that God came to earth was so far fetched that it was almost unbelievable. Maybe that’s why even those who were trying to put an end to God coming to earth couldn’t get it quite right even though they were told how it was going to happen. And when. Well in advance! God coming near! Emmanuel. Talk about laying it all on the line! Amazing. A near creation experience. And thank God it went beyond the near death experience! Amazing! Because that gift wrapped in so vulnerable a package eventually went on to conquer death. Amazing. BEST! GIFT! EVER!

Allow the season to as it reminds you of THE gift, remind you to be a gift to others. I am so grateful for all the gifts in my life! They make every special day even more special. Now go look and see what gifts are around you too. And celebrate the BEST. GIFT. EVER.