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He came down . . . and gave us himself.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15, KJV).

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans--and all that lives and moves upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused--and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” ― Sigrid Undset (May 1882 – June 1949).

Why should we give?
Nearly everyone has agonized over buying Christmas gifts. The list of recipients seems to grow every year. Often, we give and receive gifts with the same people. Receiving a gift in return is good but should not be the motivation to give. We are challenged by the Lord to give to those who are unable to reciprocate. Giving should be done out of love and a desire to bless others.

How should we give?
Attitude plays a big role in giving gifts. While no one likes giving a gift that is not well-received, we cannot control the reactions of others. Anticipating a positive response from the receiver is like expecting a gift in return. If we give without needing a gratitude fix, it makes the experience far more positive.

What should we give?
The Lord has been extravagant in his gifts to us. However, we are not required to become impoverished as we give gifts to others. The best gifts are thoughtful, tasteful, and, when possible, useful. Always try to include a personal touch or a little of yourself with every gift. Work to be a blessing to others. Christmas giving should be about far more than the cost of a gift.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

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