Advent devotion: Beyond the gifts
By Dylan Engelbrecht
It is September 22. My birthday was yesterday and it was a great day. Today I will work on my Christmas list. I must get it sorted and prioritized based on what I received yesterday. I will then distribute it soon to the many family members who buy me Christmas gifts. I am lucky to have such a large family. It’s important to me to make my wishes known so there are few surprises on Christmas day. I prefer to be in control of my gifts under the tree.
That was in 2012.
Now it is 2016.
I’ve thought about Christmas, but not like I did in 2012. I’ve talked to my family about our plans this year — how will we decorate the tree? What food will we serve? What Christmas cookies will we bake? My sorted and prioritized Christmas list is nowhere to be found. I may think of some gift ideas this year, but it’s not my priority.
I’ve learned it’s not the gifts that matter this holiday season or the lists or being in control of everything. I’ve have learned that Christmas is about the memories you make with loved ones. After all, it’s the memories that stay with you forever, not the gifts. I have learned that one of the ways God can connect to us during the holiday season is by having us cherish the memories we make with loved ones, friends, or even our congregation. God expresses love to us by giving us the great gift of remembering the Christmas activities, whether it be making a Christmas dinner, watching a Christmas movie, or even going to a Christmas Eve church services. I am this year am focused more on making the memories that will last a life time, not the gifts that will only last a year.
Dylan is an 8th grade student. He lives in Davenport and has great taste in Netflix. Sign up to receive Advent devotions online.