Best Gift Ever

We had a great sermon at church this past weekend. Pastor Gordon asked the congregation to think about the best Christmas present we’d ever received. Oh my! The audience was abuzz, and my mind took me right to 1971. I had just turned 11 and my parents were separated. My father showed up for Christmas with presents for all the kids, one of which was a large wrapped one that had my name on it. I was as fidgety as a cat wanting a bath, as I waited to open it. When I could, my feverish little fingers tore through the paper like a confetti snowstorm during a Super Bowl parade. My treasured gift was a “Movin’ Groovin’ Velvet” doll. She was the epitome of all things groovy and she was all mine and I couldn’t wait to show her off.

How groovy was she? For starters, Velvet had purple eyes (I longed to have purple eyes) and her outfits were made of polyester and lace. She had blonde hair that could be pulled out from the top of her head, so she could be styled a long do or shortened by winding the knob on her back. For a girl of 11, creating interchangeable hairdos and fashions was a dream come true.

Why was Velvet my best Christmas present? She represented love from my father that Christmas, which I needed desperately. You see, when my parents separated earlier in the year, my sister told me that it was my fault that Dad left – he didn’t want to be around me anymore. Mean, I know, but she didn’t understand his departure either and it was easier to put the blame on me, and sadly I bought and owned it for many years.

Playing with Velvet, many days in solitude, gave me a glimpse of that love for a very long time. As a matter of fact, I had my purple eyed beauty until I was in my mid-twenties, when sadly I forgot her in an upper closet when I moved. She was never to be seen again, except vividly in my mind (and probably on a toy collector’s eBay site.)

Totally got the 70’s decorating vibe going on, particularly the zigzag patterned afghan.

A father’s love. Isn’t that what God showed us when he gave us that wonderful gift of pure love that first Christmas? As Christians we should be filled with awe, love, peace and for heaven’s sake, JOY. Not just at Christmas, but all year for that matter. God’s gift was huge, and we should be sharing it with the world like that best gift we got as a kid. Sadly, we let the hustle and bustle of frosted snowmen, grazing electric reindeer in the yard, overstuffed shopping carts and oversized trees with themed decorations dictate our happiness and many times, allow it to steal our joy.

I urge you this holiday season to remember the genuine joy and excitement the shepherds surely had after the angel of the Lord announced the birth of Jesus to them on the hill. They had to feel something, because they left everything to immediately go find Him. The Wise Men, too who saw His star in the sky and followed it for a great distance, travel time and peril to Bethlehem. Both the shepherds and wise men didn’t know what they’d find, but believed in their hearts with expectant joy and excitement, that He was something amazing and life changing. And He was!

Friends, this is our joyful message to the World! Jesus was born to save us and reconcile us back to God. To give us unbelievable hope, peace, prosperity and eternal life. He is worth getting excited for! It’s an incredible everlasting gift of a father’s love for His children…the Best Gift Ever!

Until next time, stay chic and Merry Christmas


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