Saturday, December 11, 2010

Over the phone and through the mail

This Christmas finds our family spread across the country from Colorado to California. How can we continue our tradition of exchanging names when few of us will be together for the holidays?

We just won’t, I decided. It wouldn’t be the same. Besides, it would be wise in this economy to save the expense of giving and mailing. We’ll just pass this year.

No! said our eldest from across two mountain ranges. It’s being part of a family, he said, knowing that you’ve put thought and effort and love into the gifts chosen for your designated member.

“You choose,” he said over the telephone. “You and Dad put all our names in a basket, then choose for each of us and let us know.”

I thought about his words, his insistence that we should pursue the tradition regardless of position. So I wrote our names on slips of paper, eight in all including parents and children and spouses. We tossed them in a cup, picked out one at a time and sent the chosen names to each.

“I got you!,” texted one spouse to our daughter. “What do you want?” The excitement had spread already, unhindered by miles and mountain ranges.

It grew in my own spirit as I considered the one I’d chosen and what specific gift would touch that loved one’s heart. And I realized that distance had not mattered to the first Giver. How far away mankind was from the perfection and love of God! Yet He gave. Across the miles and mountains and galaxies, He sent a specifically selected and perfect gift to His chosen recipients.

Jesus: His love, our life. His living, our hope.

Merry miles-away Christmas to you this year. May you know His perfect Gift.

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