Christmas is definitely one of the best times of the year. Apart from the endless reunions and feastings, the season is also known for giving and receiving gifts. We’ve all seen the holiday rush to buy gifts for our inaanaks, Christmas parties, and our loved ones. When we think of Christmas, we automatically think of gifts.
Today, I am celebrating Christmas 2019 with my Miranda Clan family here at Pico de loro, Batangas. As I sit down and relax by the beach enjoying my much awaited sweet mental reboot, I am doing a deep reflection. Why don’t we all pause for a moment and ask ourselves: do we know what’s the best give you can give yourself and others this Christmas?
I always wonder about this. I’m always thinking about the gifts I can give to my family, friends, and clients. As I matured, however, I realized that while unique gifts are amazing, there better gifts to give to loved ones.
It’s not about the things you give, apparently.
What Makes the Perfect GIFT?
Cliché as it sounds, the best gifts you can ever give are the following:
Forgiveness of yourself and others
True meaning of Christmas!
Combined, they spell the word GIFT. Let’s talk about each of them.
A mindset of gratitude helps us appreciate any type of gift we receive this Christmas. Due to social media, we see how other people celebrate the season. Sometimes, we can’t help but envy them. Our simple Noche Buena might seem so meager compared to our friends’ celebrations abroad. We see our friends receiving more gifts than us.
But if we practice a grateful heart, we’ll see that anything we receive is a big blessing. It doesn’t matter if you received a simple basket or a card. As the old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. As long as you’re with the people you love this Christmas, you have more reasons to be thankful. Let us also be thankful to our family and friends in spite of their flaws. Let us always see the goodness in them and just pray for their flaws. After all none of us is perfect. None of us is righteous.
Christmas is the season of reunions, celebrations, and more time with the family. This means we’ll see people who will ask us how we’ve been.
Let’s be mindful of the way we communicate and behave during our celebrations. Moments are more memorable when we are more intentional in managing our image. Make sure people know you’ve been great by having an inspiring appearance. Also, communicate with others with respect and practice good etiquette. Let them remember you as someone who has a pleasing and encouraging image rather than remembering your irritating image.
Forgiveness of Yourself and Others
It’s time to live an authentic life. 2019 was a very long year. Surely, we’ve had conflicts with people or ourselves. Some people would rather enter 2020 by forgetting about these conflicts and leaving others behind for a clean slate. But in reality, not forgiving others or ourselves gives us a burden for the next year.
Instead of burdening yourself, learn to forgive. Families don’t need many gifts for Christmas. What they need is to settle old disputes, make peace, forgive, seek unity, pray and heal! Families need beyond hellos and shallow talks on recent updates and current events. Families need real talks! That for me is the real gift. A clean slate is wiped of all things, not left with specks of resentment and bitterness. Unload the weight of your heart by humbling yourself and forgiving people who have wronged you. Forgive yourself, too.
True Meaning of Christmas
Christmas has been so commercialized that it’s easy to forget what it’s really about. Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer are more popular than the reason behind the season — Jesus Christ.
Sharing the love shouldn’t be limited to sharing gifts.
We should also share the reason we have Christmas as described in John 3:16:John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
During reunions, do not hesitate to share the good news of our Savior’s birth.
If you’re a big fan of gifts, why not give gifts that will share and remind the truth about our Savior? Jesus is the only reason for this season. He has so much love to share with us all and I always get teary-eyed when I look at people and families having reunions but are not being real to each other, not being real to admitting that there is something missing. They are missing Jesus in their hearts. Spread the love by spreading the love of God that manifested in the birth of a baby in the manger.
This Christmas season, material gifts are not the only gifts you can offer to yourself and others. With the right mindset, you can offer a more amazing GIFT: your authentic self.
May the true spirit of Christmas live in our hearts! Merry Christmas from my family to yours!