Gifts of Love

From guest Mary Jane Smith, thoughts on the gifts of Christmas:
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Christmas Past

I Cor. 13: 13 “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.”

In my childhood years, we didn’t have lots of money, but our home was filled with lots of love.  I remember that particular Christmas vividly because all I wanted was a Shirley Temple doll (all the rage that season, and for many years to come).

Christmas morning dawned and when we were allowed, I raced to the tree, sure as only a child can be, that the longed-for doll would be nestled under the boughs of the Blue Spruce.  When I opened that large box, I was shocked to find a “grown-up” doll with an entire wardrobe of clothing, accessories and shoes.  Another large box contained a stylish wooden clothes rack.  I vainly struggled to hide my disappointment.

I learned a great deal about the true meaning behind the “exchanging of gifts” that year.

Mom & Dad took me into their arms and explained that it had been a tough year for everyone, and Shirley Temple dolls were very expensive and not every family could have one.  They told me they had found a beautiful doll that needed a home with a child who would truly love her.  Mom said she had made the clothes, hats and purses for her when I was asleep.  She also let me know that the clothes rack had been fashioned by Dad so there was a nice place to hang all the lovely dresses.  I named the pretty Horseman doll “Holly”, in honor of the season she came to live in the Smith household.

Over the years, I have thanked God many times for wise and loving parents who saw the necessity of modeling a life of honesty, integrity, and self-sacrifice. They gave us the gift of giving us what we needed rather than what we wanted.  Much like God the Father that first Christmas, Who gave us His Son because we needed Him, not because we wanted Him!

Mom and Dad have had many Christmas celebrations with Jesus in Heaven, but I still miss their wisdom and example.  I will always remember the year Holly came to stay.  It was one of the best Christmases we ever had, not because of what we received, but because of the love of the giver!

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Mary Jane Smith lives in Florida and will be guest posting again on New Year’s Day.

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