I spent a good portion of this day at the mall with my teenage kids, so they could buy gifts for each other and some of their friends. I saw a crazed frenzy of gift buying. (My kids were pretty calm, but they were definitely in the minority.)
People were lined up to the door to buy fragrances and blankets, and sweaters, and who knows what. They all had the same thing in mind. "What can I buy to give you to show you how I feel about you?"
The truth is...nothing.
There is nothing you can buy me that will show you how much you care about me. I appreciate that you think of me, and that you saw something you knew I'd like and wanted to give it to me. I like getting presents, but only because of the person who gave it to me, and the joy they receive when I open their gift. The bottom line is that there is nothing you can purchase with cash, check, charge or debit that, if it were to appear on my doorstep without you, would tell me that you love me.
Stuff doesn't equal love.
Christmas isn't about things. It never has been. It's about love. Love is all I want for Christmas. Want to show me how much you love me or care for me? Use words. Or actions. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked. Do all the things Jesus would ask of you, that shows me your love for me and respect for what I believe in. Say a prayer for a friend. Send a note to someone you haven't seen in a while. Hug my neck! Smile at me.
I have a few friends that have lost family members this week. The thing they will miss most is the way that person loved them. Not the stuff they gave them. They'd trade all the stuff in the world for just one more smile. One more hug. One more moment.
This year, consider giving the gift of love for Christmas. Make amends. Say you're sorry and mean it. Don't waste the precious time we have on this earth. Just give Love.