I know some people who are experts at buying gifts. No matter what the circumstance, they find just the right gift for the right person at the right time. I envy those people.
I try to pick the right gift for the right person. But somehow, it never seems to turn out as well as I intended. Once, I heard my daughter-in-love talk about old-fashioned brooches and how she was discovering a new love for them. She had invaded her grandmother’s jewelry box and was wearing one of the confiscated brooches on her sweater. So, I went in search of just the right brooch for her birthday. I bought one that I thought was not only beautiful, but something she would like. I could tell by the look on her face when she opened the box that she thought the brooch I had picked out was less than lovely. I snuck it back from her and replaced it with a gift card to her favorite department store and she gratefully whispered, “Thank you.”
I’ve had the same thing happen with my daughter. She and I are separated by miles and miles, but we are still very close. She’s the daughter of my heart, and I understand her better than anyone else does. But when it comes to buying gifts for her, I’m clueless. If I buy her a book, she’s already read it. If I buy her a DVD, she already has it. And I can’t buy her jewelry, for she makes lovely jewelry that she gives away as a perfect gift!
Buying for my husband is no better. He says he has more books than he can ever read, and any “preacher-type” book, he’s already bought for himself. He downloads his favorite music to his iPod. He wears only white button-down shirts, of which his closet is full to bursting. And if I give him a gift card, he’ll turn around and spend it on me. Hmm … maybe I should rethink the gift card thing!
Were things this hard the first Christmas? Did people scramble to find the perfect gift? Were there people selling “I Luv Bethlehem” bumper stickers? Did school kids sell subscriptions to “Better Homes and Stable” for their fundraiser? Was the Bethlehem Holiday Inn handing out rain checks? Did Rand McNally have to print extra copies of “Guide to Egypt for Young Families”? Was Bethlehem full of hip and trendy booths selling “Son Glasses”?
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh aside, I doubt that first Christmas that people knew just what a perfect gift we had all received. Jesus is truly the only “one-size-fits-all” Savior. He was humbly born, humbly lived and humbly died — doing all of it as the ultimate gift for those who accept Him.
So, this weekend, when so many will be concentrating on finding and buying the perfect gift, remember this: The perfect gift has already been given. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11).
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at